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In this article sharing why it’s essential to focus on ARPU, you discuss how publishers should track reader revenue throughout the funnel, even before a user registers or subscribes. But how can you measure the value of a newsletter subscriber for instance, who doesn’t pay you any money directly?
It’s a great question, and one that I answered in a webinar with Chartbeat…
My response: It actually doesn’t really matter.
The whole idea and importance of tracking the value of a newsletter sign up (or even registered member for that matter) is that you are deciding how valuable a specific action is to you and your business model prior to the subscription conversion.
For instance, your data could tell you that newsletter sign up plays a significant role in increasing a user’s propensity to subscribe (i.e. the majority of your subscribers signed up X months prior to converting). This step is therefore hugely valuable in your premium strategy, more so than visiting your site only once per month.
However, you find that creating a free account is even more valuable than this and has the added benefit of increasing ad revenue, so you place registration as the next step in the funnel and give it a higher ARPU value than newsletter sign up.
I.e. A user signing up to your newsletter is MORE valuable to you than this person only visiting once a month but LESS valuable to you than them becoming a member.
And, remember, value doesn’t have to be money…
– Increased engagement (recency, frequency and volume of visit)
– First-party data collection (such as email address) for understanding your audience
– Custom reader ID and tracking across site
– Personalization and potential to improve the user experience
– Targeted advertising
(note that these do indirectly translate into revenue, but not in the same easy-to-track way as subscribing)