Subscription Marketing: A Guide to Nuturing Customers & Readers

Posted March 22nd @ 5:12 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

 Subscription Marketing shares proven strategies for nurturing long-term customer relationships in a world of churn.

It’s an exceptionally for authors and businesses looking for ways to build lasting relationships with customers, prospects, and readers.

Anne Janzer’s Subscription Marketing already shows signs of becoming one of 2015′s most important content marketing books.

It’s been favorably reviewed by leading marketing authorities, like David Meerman Scott, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, and others.

A model for successful business books

In addition to the valuable information Anne Janzer shares in Subscription Marketing, it also showcases the best practices today’s nonfiction authors should follow writing and publishing helpful, relevant, and successful business or nonfiction books in 2015.

  • Positioning. Subscription Marketing is carefully positioned. Instead of going up against the hundreds of content marketing books, it addresses a niche within the the broader content marketing field. In a way, Anne Janzer has identified a Blue Ocean Strategy within the universe of content marketers.
  • Addresses a major problem. Subscription Marketing addresses a significant problem relevant to 2 types of marketers. The first consists of the growing number of product and service providers who have converted, or want to convert, from a “sales” model to a SAS, or Service as Subscription model. The second is every business who publishes an email newsletter, but who may not have allocated sufficient resources or time to consistently creating helpful content to keep their their subscribers engaged.
  • Concise. In many ways, Subscription Marketing reflects the type of book that today’s busy readers want. It’s long enough to provide a fresh perspective on a significant problem that effects many, yet short enough to be respectful of the reader’s time.  If you choose the print version, you’ll find its small enough to read while commuting, or on your next business trip. It’s tightly organized and tightly-written.
  • A fast read. Chapters are short, focused, and to the point. Most chapters are between 8 and 10 pages long. This is long enough to present an idea, describe its context, and share different ways to implement the idea. There are frequent examples, but they are primarily intended to guide your own exploration, rather than in-depth case studies. Finally, most chapters end with a helpful summary of the main ideas just covered.
  • Value. Conciseness and easy reading work together to enhance Subscription Marketing’s value. The traditional way of measuring value is “quality and quantity of information divided by purchase price.” Subscription Marketing certainly excels in this regard, for either the print or ebook editions.

But, value can also be measured by the “quality and quantity of information divided by the time it takes to read the book.” This is the problem with many books which go into so much detail, or include so many examples, that they require too much reading time.

Thankfully, Subscription Marketing balances content value with price and easy-reading, in a way that delivers full value to readers.

Value for authors, too

In a similar way, Subscription Marketing’s length and format deliver high value for its author.  In today’s fast moving business climate, success goes to early-movers who bring a product, i.e., their book, to market in a timely fashion.

Right now, Subscription Marketing is a timely topic that addresses a market segment that hasn’t been flooded with competing books.

If Anne Janzer had doubled Subscription Marketing‘s length, though, or complicated it with additional graphics, two things would probably happen:

  • Anne Janzer would probably still be writing it. This way, however, Anne has already established herself in the niche, and is ready to move on to the next step (whatever it may be.)
  • A longer book would inevitably increase the selling price. This, of course, could potentially reduce the book’s sales. This would significantly reduce Anne Janzer’s visibility to a key market segment, potentially reducing invitations for future consulting, speaking, or training opportunities.

Download my free writing workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building BookThere’s no easy answer, of course, to issues like length, price, and time. But, the above example does bring up the importance of carefully viewing all aspects of your book from a business perspective before you start to write. (Here’s a free planning tool to help you make the right decisions.(

Subscription Marketing’s Table of Contents

Subscription Marketing’s table of contents provides a framework for efficient reading. Following an Introduction which sets the stage, chapters are organized into three parts, followed by Resources, Acknowledgements, and Notes.

Part One: The Subscription Shift

The chapters in Part One describe the changed marketing environment and the challenges that businesses face and accommodate.

  • Chapter 1:   The Growing Subscription Economy
  • Chapter 2:  Managing Multiple Business Models
  • Chapter 3:  The Marketing Impact
  • Chapter 4:  Rethinking the Funnel
  • Chapter 5:  Value Nurturing

Part Two: Value Nurturing Strategies

Part Two offers five “success scenarios,” or formulas, that businesses can explore and, if appropriate, follow as they adapt to a changed environment.

Reading the following chapters, I was impressed by the value and depth of the advice in each chapter, compared to the simplicity of the following titles.  There’s enough detail in each chapter to make a difference in your business, yet there’s no sense of the tedium that frequently accompanies reading an overly-detailed or scholarly book.

  • Chapter 6:  Help Your Customers Be Successful
  • Chapter 7:  Demonstrate Value
  • Chapter 8:  Add Value to Your Solutions
  • Chapter 9:  Add Value to the Customer Relationship
  • Chapter 10:  Help Customers Live Up to Their Values

Part Three: Putting the Strategies into Action

Having described five options in Part Two, the chapters in Part Three deal with implementation issues.

I especially enjoyed the pragmatism of Chapter 11, which addresses the obstacles frequently encountered when selling the concept of Value Nuturing to management. The Objection and Response framework will help readers prepare their responses well before the time they’re needed in meetings and discussions.

  • Chapter 11:  Building the Business Case for Value Nuturing
  • Chapter 12:  Starting a Value Nuturing Practice
  • Chapter 13: Building on What You Already Do
  • Chapter 14:  Four Fundamental Rules of Value Nuturing
  • Chapter 15:  The Marketing Opportunity

To learn more about Subscription Marketing

To learn more about Subscription Marketing, visit Anne Janzer’s website the Subscription Marketing website, or the book’s print and Kindle pages on Amazon.com. I look forward to interviewing Anne Janzer as part of my Author Thought Leader interviews this spring about Subscription Marketing’s back story, as well as Anne’s future projects.

Cheryl Snapp Conner’s Viral Marketing Lessons

Posted March 19th @ 4:26 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Hear the story of Cheryl Snapp Conner's Forbes blog post that went viral and attracted over nine million views!Click the image to hear Cheryl Snapp Conner discuss her Forbes blog post that attracted over 9 million views!

During my interview with Forbes contributor  Cheryl Snapp Conner, she described the circumstances behind her record-breaking blog post and the lessons that can be drawn from its success.

Our discussion expanded to a discussion of authentic content and the difference between authentic and manipulated viral marketing.

Cheryl also shared the story behind her choice of format and publisher for her Beyond PR: Communicate Like a Champ in the Digital Age.

Before listening to the recorded interview, you’re invited to download a printable Note-taking Sheet. You can also learn more about the call here.  After you listen, share your comments and takeaways below.

Forbes Blogger to Share the Story Behind Her Blog Post that Went Viral (Over 9 Million Views!)

Posted March 14th @ 5:10 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Meet Cheryl Snapp the Forbes editor who helped Amy Morin's 13 Things viral blog post go PlatinumJoin me next week when I interview Forbes blogger, Cheryl Snapp Conner, who is uniquely qualified to discuss blog posts that “go viral,” attracting millions of viewers.

As described in her recent blog post, Can You Make a Viral Message On Purpose?, when Cheryl Snapp Conner discovered Amy Morin’s 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, Amy’s post had already been viewed over a hundred thousand times.

But, after Cheryl included Amy’s list on the Forbes blog, her post was soon viewed over a million times–a number that continues to grow.

It’s been viewed over 9 million times!

As Amy Morin shared in our recent interview, Cheryl’s blog post was the catalyst that launched her writing and publishing career. It literally changed her life.

Amy’s book is a bestseller and Amy is now a regular contributor to the Forbes Blog, writing about the psychological aspects of business. Amy has also been featured in numerous other high-visibility publications.

Questions I’ll be asking Cheryl Snapp Conner during our call

If you agree with me that the best route to author writing and publishing success is to learn from those who have achieved the level of success you hope to achieve, you’ll want to be there when I interview Cheryl Snapp Conner.

Our call takes place Tuesday, March 17, at 4PM Eastern.

I’ll be asking Cheryl questions like:

  • Where did she find Amy’s list of the 13 Things that Mentally Strong People Don’t Do?
  • How did she locate it?
  • How often does she look for blog post ideas online?
  • Has this happened before?
  • What were the specific elements of Amy’s title and list of the 13 Things that compelled her to reach out to Amy?
  • What lessons did the whole experience teach?

I’ll also be asking questions like:

  • What’s it like to be a regular contributor to a high-visibility blog
  • Does she ever run out of ideas (or time)?
  • What do blog editors look for when evaluating unsolicited ideas from those who want to submit a guest post?
  • How does she benefit from her contributions?
  • What other types of writing does she do?

How to attend my Cheryl Snapp Conner interview

All Published and Profitable friends and members are invited to attend our call next Tuesday, March 17, at 4 PM Eastern. There is no charge to attend. To join us, simply dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the call. Call early, introduce yourself, and say hello! To learn more, visit Cheryl Snapp Conner’s blog and website.

New Podcasting Mind Map for Content Marketers

Posted March 14th @ 1:16 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Use this new Podcasting Mindjet mind mapping template to help podcasters save time preparing their weekly content marketing interviewsThis new podcasting mind map template saves authors and content marketers time preparing podcasts and interviews.

If you use podcasts as a regular part of your content marketing, you should check out this two-part series that appeared on Mindjet’s Conspire Blog:

  • Part 1 describes the importance of using mind maps to plan, produce, and track your podcasts. It includes an example of a mind map I created for a recent interview with best-selling author, Amy Morin, author of 13 Things that Mentally Strong people Don’t Do.
  • Part 2, includes a sample Mindjet MindManager template you can view online or download and use for your planning upcoming podcasts. There are ideas for modifying the template or using it as a model for creating your own content marketing podcast mind map template using other mind mapping software programs.

Mindjet Dashboard Series

This two-part blog-post series is part of my ongoing Mindjet Dashboard Series which contains downloadable templates for using mind maps as an everyday content marketing and writing tool.

  • Authors can use mind maps to plan their book’s contents, analyze their book’s competition, as well as prepare a marketing launch plan for their forthcoming book.
  • Content marketers can use mind maps to follow the experts and experts in their field, locate appropriate #hashtags, and keep track of ideas for upcoming articles, blog posts, and white papers.

I’ve been using mind maps for over a dozen years preparing weekly podcast interviews with over 500 nonfiction authors and marketing experts. In the beginning, it was taking me 2 or 3 hours to prepare for each one-hour interview.

Working with Mindjet’s MindManager reduced the preparation time for each interview to less than an hour….and significantly improved the quality of the interviews. You can listen over a dozen of these content marketing and author interviews here.

If you’re an author or content marketer, are you currently using mind mapping to organize your ideas and save time on a daily basis? Share your experiences and concerns, below, as comments.

How Ann Handley Positioned Everybody Writes Against 55,612 Other Books about Writing

Posted March 9th @ 6:40 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Find out how the Marketing Prof's Ann Handley positioned her bestselling Everybody Writes against thousands of competing writing booksSearch Amazon.com for “books about writing,” and 55,612 results show up!

Nevertheless, Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Writing Ridiculously Good Content beat the odds and became a Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com Top 100 bestseller!

How did she do it?

Find out when I interview Ann Handley on the next Published & Profitable Author Thought Leader call. Join us Tuesday, March 10, at 4 PM Eastern.

Respected marketing and content authority

Ann Handley is one of the most recognized voices in content marketing. She’s an A-list keynote speaker and the Marketing Prof’s Chief Content Officer. I’ve been following her marketing articles for almost two decades.

Ann writes and simplifies even the most complex marketing topics in a conversational tone with warmth and humor.

Her first book, co-authored with C. C. Chapman, was Content Rules:  How to Create Killer Blogs. Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business.

Content Rules appeared in 2012. It played a major tole in establishing content marketing as a key marketing tactic.

During our call, Ann will be sharing some of her favorite writing and marketing tips, and discussed her experiences planning, writing, and promoting Everybody Writes.

Why book positioning matters

Positioning plays a crucial role in writing and publishing success, as I discussed in a recent Orbit Media guest post, 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Positioning Your Book in a Crowded Field.

No matter how relevant your information, or how polished your writing skills, a poorly positioned book is destined to a major disappointment.

In addition to asking Ann about how she positioned Everybody Writes and how she created a compelling content structure–and finished her book on time, despite a busy schedule–I’ll be asking Ann to share her favorite advice and tips for authors and content marketers.

How to attend my interview with Ann Handley

I’ll be interviewing Ann Handley tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10, at 4 PM Eastern. All Published & Profitable friends and members are invited to this live teleseminar interview. To join us, simply dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the call. Call early, introduce yourself, and say hello!

Enter Your Best Content In the 2015 Content Marketing Awards

Posted March 6th @ 6:02 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Enter your best content in the Content Marketing Awards Program, now in its 12th year!Give your content the exposure it deserves by entering it in the 12th annual Content Marketing Awards.

The Content Marketing Awards are presented and owned by the Content Marketing Institute.

The purpose is to recognize and award the best content marketing projects, agencies and marketers in the industry each year. Awards will be presented at the Content Marketing World in September.

75 categories

This year’s Content Marketing Awards includes 75 categories recognizing all aspects of content marketing, from strategy to distribution, from design to editorial.

Primary and secondary categories (partial listing) include:

  • Strategy
  • Distribution
    • Social Media
    • Video
    • Publication by Industry
  • Editorial
  • Design

There’s even an Agency of the Year award!

To find the best “fit” for your favorite content, visit the Content Marketing Awards/Categories page for more information about each of the 75 categories.

Open for entries now!

Entries are currently being accepted. The deadline is May 1, 2015. The Early Bird deadline is March 27th.

Full entry information is available at the Content Marketing Awards site. You can also access a list of Content Marketing Award winners for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Meet the judges

While you’re at the Content Marketing Awards site, check-out the credentials of the more than 60 judges who will be participating in this year’s awards. Check out their clients, their publications, and their years of experience in content marketing! The list is alphabetical, so you’ll have to scroll down to find my name, but I’m pleased to be participating in the judging this year!