When I interviewed Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson, I asked why Squarespace chose to adopt a free trial model and not a freemium model.
Although the freemium model, in which a company mixes free services with paid upgrades, is increasingly popular because of the economy, for some online businesses, free trials are well worth a look and could even be a better fit.
Before the company's Twitter marketing campaign went viral, Squarespace wasn't a brand known to many. But the company has experienced rapid growth building a niche in the competitive market for content management solutions/publishing platforms. And it has done it by doing something many others have avoided: charging users.
I spoke with Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson about the company, its success with a paid business model and what ROI the company's viral Twitter marketing campaign produced.
How popular is Twitter? It's so popular that some would suggest it's worth billions of dollars. But as many of us who lived through the first .com bust know all too well, it's disappointingly easy to take something that looks like it has a future filled with success and turn it into fail.
In the case of Twitter, I think there are 5 things that the company's management needs to do to avoid that fate.
Consumers don't like paying for anything online. This is especially true when it comes to younger consumers. Common knowledge, right?
Wrong. Just ask myYearbook, a second-tier social network that caters primarily to teens. It has managed to do something many other social networks haven't: turn a profit. And it's done it by charging its supposedly frugal Gen Y users.
The buzz in the consumer internet right now is real-time. Twitter and Facebook have put the
spotlight on real-time but now tech giants like Google and Microsoft
are giving real-time the time of day.
Where is this all leading? Is real-time the most important thing taking
place on the internet today as some believe or is it the next overhyped
Paid content and subscription services are hot once again thanks to an economic downturn that has reminded online publishers that ad revenues are not impervious.
But paid content isn't easy online (newspapers can attest to that) and many publishers inevitably fail at making the transition from free to paid. Here are several ways you can boost your chances of succeeding when selling content online.
Paid content, which many online publishers left for dead when advertisers were throwing money at anybody breathing, is back in fashion.
Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Big publishers, such as the New York Times, are revisiting the model. And 'content entrepreneurs' who less than a year ago touted 'free' are now singing 'fee'.
As Facebook's unbelievable growth continues unabated, the company is increasingly finding itself scrutinized by critics who are asking a simple question: 'where's the money'?
Even though Facebook is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, its costs are growing rapidly and there are various unsubstantiated rumors that the company is on a potentially disastrous financial path.
The recession is hitting publishers hard. This is true online and offline as advertisers aren't limiting what gets put on the chopping block.
Many believe that the trackability and accountability will keep online publishers in good stead and despite declining online ad spend, it's easy as an online publisher to look at the woes of the newspaper industry and feel pretty confident about the future.
Playboy is the world's iconic 'male magazine' but it's had a hard time keeping its relationship with consumers and investors spicy.
The company's story resembles that of media businesses today: evolving markets have changed the game, brought new competition and eroded old competitive advantages.