The age of paywalls

The current situation is accelerating what has been apparent for a long time: the pure advertising financing of media has had its day.

The situation in many media companies seems absurd: the demand for information is reaching an unprecedented level, production continues almost undiminished in home offices. Nevertheless, US media in particular are already having to make drastic cuts. One of the main pillars of modern media operations is currently out of action, namely advertising. Although advertising banners are very present in online media in particular, revenues have fallen considerably, as many companies have cut back their marketing budgets in view of the loss of revenues in the current situation.

Advertising on our own behalf

However, what is now proving to be an acute threat to the existence of many companies is not only due to the current crisis. The question has long been raised as to how sustainable the business model that financed the past 20 to 30 years of online journalism is. The fact that online advertising could not pay for the entire media budget became apparent when more and more publishers set up paywalls on their websites. Although a good deal of reporting is still available free of charge, more and more links are being created: Only for paying readers there is full content.

The fact that many German publishers are not quite as serious as US providers is also due to the fact that they are becoming their best advertising customers. Many publishers such as Gruner+Jahr are advertising for their readers with free trial subscriptions, local newspapers are setting up new newsletters. In this way, the editorial offices, which report daily on the situation on site, attract new readership groups. Or even the old ones who are currently not going to the kiosk.

Discomfort with Silicon Valley

There has been a malaise with the advertising business for a long time. On the one hand, data-based online advertising threatens the credibility of publishers, who often do not have complete control over what content appears on their websites and how their readers’ data is processed. On the other hand, those who completely elude the business have to accept severe competitive disadvantages. And no matter how the situation develops, which new laws are passed, the perceived duopoly between Google and Facebook always appears as the winner.

Only with the basic data protection regulation and the legislative procedures in California has the debate gained momentum as to whether the rampant system really serves a purpose other than to finance the adtech industry itself. Gilead Edelman argues in Wired magazine for the complete abolition of microtargeting: The system destroys the economic basis of the media without providing tangible benefits to users.

6 amazing ways to generate more leads through email marketing

Regardless of what many people think, email marketing is still an effective way to generate leads and even conversions. Every day, around 90 billion emails are sent worldwide for business purposes and there is nothing to suggest that this number will soon fall. Every business owner should spend some time trying to get the attention of their potential customers through email marketing. This approach is usually cheaper than other strategies and can give so much back – and maybe even a little more, depending on the target group. The following article shows ten amazing ways entrepreneurs can generate more leads with email marketing.

# 1: Ask for permission

To start with, you will of course need the permission of your target group so that you can send messages to your potential customers at all. This request itself is already a way to generate leads. After all, prospects first have to fill out the forms on your website so that you can get their email addresses and send out promotional material. Once this process is complete, you can already assume that your potential customers are interested in staying in touch with you. This is a good sign for future conversions.

# 2: The offer is something special

Probably no one goes to the trouble of opening an e-mail that does not provide them with new information. Your readers will simply delete it or keep it for later – which means they will never read the message. So if you want your email marketing to have an impact on your audience, you need to offer them something special. It can be an exclusive offer, a free offer, a discount or an early bird price.

# 3: Manageable personalizations

You have probably read that you should always personalize your e-mails. The most common way to do this is by addressing your audience with their names. Although it may sound reasonable at first, personalization may not be the best method. The thing is that many experts say that too much familiarity sounds wrong and uncomfortable too soon. Especially when it is your first contact. What is much more important is high-quality and relevant content that appeals to your readers, not just any well-meant platitudes.

# 4: No more than three offers

Retail stores have the biggest problems with this issue. After all, they have a wide range of products and don’t want to waste the opportunity to advertise their items. When retailers build their email marketing, they often tend to promote multiple products with one message. This approach competes with the weak attention span of readers. So it’s best to send only three offers per message. More would only confuse your potential customers.

# 5: Create a weekly newsletter

Even if you are not familiar with the news business, you can still benefit from emails to your mailing list with tips and articles about your industry. A weekly newsletter is good for your business in two ways:

1.) If you send high-quality information to your target group, you will soon be considered an expert in your industry. The confidence of your target group will grow.
2.) You remain in the memory of your readers.

# 6: Find the best time of day for your newsletter

You probably already have a list of statistics that tells you what time and day of the week you should send your emails. This is a good start. However, you should ignore your analyses for a while and draw your own conclusions. The thing is that every business owner reads the same statistics as you do. And they will all want to send their emails at the same time and on the same day as you. You have probably noticed the problem that arises: a big competition for attention. That means, depending on the habits of your target group, you might want to try an unconventional schedule and find out when is the ideal time of day for your newsletter.