Ned Desmond: Subscription best practices

Paid Content has Time Warner Interactive Exec Editor Ned Desmond sharing best practices for using online to drive subs. For some publishers, there is a question of how to balance bringing in the the largest possible audience to drive page views and ad revenue, vs. using the site to incent visitors to subscribe. Ned articulates the (effective) TW strategy:
“– Lock up the best parts of a site and you’ll get more subscriptions. How many more depends on the site, the readership and the title.
— Provide instant gratification and keep the offer cheap. If someone sees something they want to read, make sure that they can zip through a subscription order form in no time and pay just a few bucks to buy a short-term, continuous service subscription on a credit card.
— Make it possible for visitors to get around the site to see search results pages, hub pages, tables of contents and anything else that will help them develop a taste for the site and the magazine.
— It’s smart to keep a few distribution deals intact, even if it means making some valuable content free. In the same way, that holy grail of search engine optimization is important. Do what you can to ensure that the search engines find your pages and rank them well. ”
More details– and discussion— at Paid Content.