Thursday, 16 October 2008

Paid Content at WSJ

Group think says there's no future in paid content. The WSJ begs to differ and it was while visiting their site for my normal first two paras free of charge that I was presented with a full article under this header.

This prompted me just to take a look at their current offers and marketing. This house ad on top right hand corner of their home page.

This adclick takes you through to three offers, off a 2 week free trial automatic renewal offer:

2 Weeks Free(54 weeks in total) with your payment when you purchase

1 year of + the Print Journal

Print Journal
1 year for $89

1 year for $89 +Print Journal
1 year for $99

All looking good. I'm in Europe, the dollar is a peso; I've had a subscription before but I can get round that - marginally alter my name and new address. Old trick.

They nearly had me.

Before I read the small print:

This is a special offer made available only for first time annual subscribers. Thereafter, your subscription will be renewed automatically at the then-current annual rate. You will be notified of any rate changes in advance. Savings percentage based on 52-week newsstand price for The Journal print edition plus the standard 1-year rate for The Online Journal. Offers good for new subscriptions for a limited time only. Newspaper delivery is only available in the contiguous U.S. Sales tax may apply.

Good, simple, clear marketing and a timely moment given the financial crisis to tempt me in with a full sample article (we can argue about pros and cons of automatic renewal offers subject to seeing their conversion data - as a consumer I personally never bite, but as a marketer I know they work).

However, they've forgotton one rather important fact: this offer is on something called the world wide web, their offer is for contiguous U.S only, I live in France and no option to click through to WSJE.

Mr. Murdoch, your subscription marketing people are asleep on the job. In Manhattan-centricitis land.


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