buchreport.de Increases Digital Revenues with Paid Content

How do we introduce a payment model for the content on our website buchreport.de in addition to our existing subscriptions and extensive shop offerings?

Harenberg Kommunikation was faced with this question in spring 2017, when new revenue models for the B2B portal buchreport.de were being discussed.

In addition to its online presence and the weekly and monthly editions of the trade journal, the Dortmund-based publisher distributes a large number of digital and print products for the book and media industry, such as the well-known SPIEGEL bestseller lists, various rankings and analyses as well as webinars and customer magazines.

Buchreport-Start-Page_b

Initial situation and the decision for LaterPay

"In addition to minimal integration and operation efforts, the key requirements for the new paywall were a high degree of configuration flexibility and intuitive user guidance, which would make it very easy for our readers to buy," says Lena Scherer, editor in charge of buchreport.de.  

In addition to the existing subscription offers, all content in the future needed also to be accessible to non-subscribers against payment. Conversely, existing customers would have access to all articles offered via LaterPay via login, without having to register separately.

Since the website buchreport.de runs on WordPress, the obvious choice was to use the LaterPay WordPress plug-in. The integration takes place directly from the CMS and requires no programming knowledge. The plugin can then be used to configure the entire setup within the WordPress interface.


Results

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Monthly 35% SALES INCREASE in the first year

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2,000 NEW CUSTOMERS through paid content

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SUBSCRIBER GROWTH in the 3-digit percentage rate


Integration and first successes

In June 2017, the newly launched premium offer buchreport.PLUS was launched with two different LaterPay purchase options:

  • Individual items between 50 cents and 4.50 euros could be purchased without registration and only have to be paid for when a total amount of 5 euros had been reached. 
  • Higher-priced products, such as ePaper, analyses and dossiers, were offered as classic immediate purchases. 
  • These two LaterPay models were flanked by the existing buchreport.digital subscription and a digital upgrade for print subscribers, who consequently also have access to all buchreport.PLUS content.

    Following the successful introduction of this model, buchreport.PLUS increased circulation revenues by an average of 35% per month in the first year: 

Buchreport Sales Year 1
Analysis and Optimization

"After the first year, we analyzed the development to date in a joint workshop with LaterPay and explored the potential for further cooperation. All stakeholders from editing, technology, sales and management sat at the same table and together created the basis for the further expansion of the paid service,” says Lena Scherer. 

Immediate results and optimization measures included: 

  • Putting more individual articles behind the payment barrier (an increase in paid content inventory correlates with increases in sales and recurring sales)
  • Prominent placement of the PLUS content on the homepage, both in teaser boxes and in the form of a menu item in the main navigation
  • Addition of a landing page with all PLUS articles for better searchability (also by search engines)
  • Consistent branding under the label br.PLUS

At the same time, the further development of the WordPress plug-in enabled new offer formats such as granularly configurable time passes, which include or exclude individual content from the offer depending on the setting. This means that low-cost time passes can be offered that cover a large part of the paid content, but not extensive analyses (e.g. "The 100 largest book publishers") or dossiers that are only to be distributed as subscriptions or in higher-priced retail sales. 

After several tests with different time intervals, e.g. daily and weekly passes, the monthly pass for 39.90 euros was able to establish itself as a further offer format in addition to the single purchase option: 

Buchreport Overlay

New Offers and Improved Performance

Thanks to the above mentioned optimizations and promotional/SEO activities, as well as the continuous increase in paid content inventory, the performance of buchreport.PLUS once again improved significantly in the second year:

Buchreport Sales alltime

  • In the second year, sales of content sold via LaterPay increased 12% per month on average.
  • The time passes introduced in the second year, now represent 11% of sales. 89% is generated by individual sales. 
  • Approximately 2,000 customers have bought approx. 3,000 items with LaterPay over a period of 2 years. 
  • The average article price was 2.20 Euro. Article prices increased over time.
  • LaterPay also serves the publisher as a field of experimentation: buchreport understands online customers better and gets insight into what online content and paid offers users are interested in.
  • Alongside buchreport.PLUS, the number of subscribers increased strongly: buchreport.digital subscriptions in the three-digit percentage range and digital upgrades for existing print customers in the high double-digit range.

A further advantage has been the increase in efficiency in buchreport sales thanks to automated sales processes through the connection to the LaterPay platform. 

  • Benefits for the department: fewer manual order processes per form, less administrative efforts.
  • Added value for customers: instant access to web content after purchase, increasing customer satisfaction. 

Early in 2019, the payment solution"100 largest book publishers" was developed for the database offer: since the publisher's dossiers are fed from a database, the LaterPay WordPress plug-in used for the web content could not be used here. Instead, the database was connected with the JavaScript connector of LaterPay. In this way, an annual access to the database was integrated into the offer and has recently been offered until the next comprehensive update is available.

Perspective and Development of Offer

What’s next for buchreport? "There are still numerous ideas for new products, product variants and bundles that can be implemented with LaterPay," says Lena Scherer and adds:

"Due to the positive development of the payable content offers and the good cooperation with LaterPay, we have also decided to integrate the payment system into our knowledge and training portal pubiz.de. In the future, we will offer our video content and webinars there via LaterPay, in which we provide specialists and managers with in-depth specialist knowledge about digitization in the book and media industry."

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