written by reader Very hard sell from Agora / Palm Beach

By Random, March 8, 2017

I recently signed up to Palm Beach Confidential (which does actually seem quite good). Had a phone call today from an Agora salesman who explained that ”by mistake” they had signed me up for their top end Palm Beach Infinity package, which includes their other newsletters (more or less worthless to me). Wouldn’t take no for an answer, basically wanted me to pay double and forego my refund period for a ”lifetime” subscription to Infinity. Having been stung by ”lifetime” subscriptions before, I wasn’t keen. Disappointing incident and not what I’m used to from Agora. It seems like they are expecting the newsletter business to pretty much collapse over the next year, that they are trying to collect subscriptions up front like this.

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Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
March 8, 2017 12:38 pm

It does seem like some newsletters are getting a bit more aggressive with the “lifetime” offers in the last year or two — whether that’s because they think it will be a tougher market for newsletters in the future or because they’ve just done the math and know that their average revenue per reader is better if they go lifetime, I don’t know.

Lifetime subscriptions are a great deal for publishers, because they know what you might not: That the average reader’s interest in a particular letter, which will probably fluctuate in terms of quality and performance and maybe even change editors a few times, is likely to not last forever. If they can get you to commit to a payment up front that’s equal to 3, 4 or even 7 or 8 years of subscription at the current rate, they come out ahead. Particularly given the fact that newsletters generally have no set subscriber cap number, and that there is essentially no marginal cost to providing the service to each additional subscriber unless they’re one of the few newsletters that still uses printed letters and mail.

We offer the lifetime option here at Stock Gumshoe as well, partly because people hate the annual renewals cycle and the hassle of updating their credit card, but it is, of course, much lower cost than most of the big “lifetime” newsletter deals — if current trends persist it might end up being a money loser for Stock Gumshoe in the end, since our renewal rates tend to be so high, but it does make bookkeeping simpler when you get rid of the refund guarantee (as essentially all lifetime deals do, including ours).

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