A resource for news innovators to learn, plan & do.
Complexity: Intermediate
Article Complexity Bar Graph

Paid acquisition strategies with ROI

Paid acquisition can juice revenue for publishers, the question remains as to predicting ROI on various paid channels. Phillip Smith pulls together a primer on the theory behind these strategies and tactics for a predictable, membership-driving revenue playbook in the first of a series of pieces for The Membership Puzzle Project.

This piece kicks off a series of case studies on the payoff of various paid member acquisition channel as studied by Phillip Smith for Membership Puzzle Project. The details of each of the seven cases are worth digging into for the adaptable tactics in copywriting, ad design, and audience trends on Facebook and crowdfunding platforms.

The primer on paid acquisition is also a handy guide to the jargon to help newcomers understand the details that follow.

The high points, though, reinforce the Table Stakes essentials from funnel-discipline, serving targeted audiences with targeted content, and remaining focused on performance:

  • “There’s an opportunity to simply fund email list growth and to walk away knowing that this is a leading indicator for subscriber, member and donor growth, as well as increased revenue from sponsorships and advertising. “
  • “[I]t takes time to build the relationship and trust needed to convert cold leads into regular readers, and then into paying community members.”
  • “As long as the cost per lead is low enough to predict over a specific period of time, that revenue from leads that convert into members is likely to be higher than the marketing expense of acquiring all the leads, one should keep investing and work to scale that investment until the formula no longer works.”

Note:Smith is looking for input on the development of this series.