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Bramley, Surrey, United Kingdom, 2010/09/10 - Green Star Media has won a Media Pioneer award, which is given to specialist media businesses demonstrating entrepreneurial and innovative thinking. MD Andrew Griffiths outlines five key strategies to help convert website readers to paying customers.
If your media business aspires to convert readers who get online content free of charge into paying customers, check out Green Star Media’s award-winning tips for subscription success.
While Mr Murdoch, allegedly, is managing to persuade just over 1% of his registered visitors to pay for his Times Online subscription news service, Media Pioneer award winner, Green Star Media, achieves an 8% free-to-paid conversion for readers of its rugby and soccer coaching newsletters.
Andrew Griffiths, MD, has built the business over four years to a turnover of £1.2m, based on subscriptions, with very little advertising. In an interview with Carolyn Morgan, who runs Penmaen Media, a consultancy advising media owners on how to profit from digital media and marketing, he outlined five key strategies responsible for Green Star Media’s subscription success.
1. Develop quality content for an under-served group
Green Star Media provide quality coaching materials for rugby and soccer coaches, as newsletters and PDFs. Many coaches are amateurs and spend just a few years in the role, often while their children are participating. Green Star commission up-to-date, tried and tested content from top coaches and package as ebooks, PDFs and enewsletters.
2. Repackage content to populate free sites
Green Star re-use content from their paid books for their free e-newsletters and also populate their sites. betterrugbycoaching.com and bettersoccercoaching.com with old newsletter content, which drives a substantial audience via SEO. They spend very little on external marketing.
3. Focus on collecting email addresses
The sites promote their free newsletters with pithy benefits, and the entire focus is on collecting email addresses. They have built up a database of 80,000 rugby and 250,000 soccer coaches from across the English-speaking world, 50% UK and 25% North America.
4. Create multiple subscription levels
Green Star create many different subscription levels tailored to match individual budgets. Trial subs start from 97p, and full subs range from £27 for 6 months to £87 pa, depending on the market. One-off ebooks start from £10. Lists are carefully segmented, so each sub-group is made an appropriately priced offer.
5. Test long copy emails
Marketing emails are separate from the free coaching newsletters and recipients can opt out. The emails are predominantly long copy, with succinct benefits, extracts from the newsletters, background on contributors and testimonials from other subscribers. Andrew sends lots of emails and tests to achieve his 8% free-to-paid conversion.
The Media Pioneer awards are run in conjunction with the Specialist Media Show and InPublishing. They celebrate entrepreneurial and innovative thinking by specialist media businesses.
Andrew is keen to cross-promote with other football and rugby related sites through list swaps and affiliate deals.