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What a 90 percent renewal rate is telling you. (Management).

Last summer we reported that a publisher at the NEPA conference was boasting about his 90 percent renewal rate (NL/NL 6/15/02), only to be told by another publisher, "That's not good. That means your price is too low."

He should raise his rates--now!--he was informed. Another publisher chimed in, "Those renewing your subscription should feel slight pain or at least see the value you put on your information."

Al Goodloe at Publisher's Multinational Direct, who is a specialist in renewals, has another response to the same situation. A 90 percent renewal rate means he is not promoting enough. The logic here is that the publisher has a "safe," loyal coterie, but one that is shrinking 10 percent per year.

Goodloe would advise reaching out to new lists, new audiences (on the internet, for instance). They may not renew as well as the publisher's core group, but they will help make up for that annual 10 percent loss.

Average renewal rates

Those among us without a 90 percent rate might be wondering what most newsletter publishers are experiencing. NEPA once did a survey of its members:

* B-to-b publishers reported an average conversion rate (firstyear renewals) of 61 percent and an average renewal rate of 75 percent. Highest was 94 percent.

* Consumer publishers had an average conversion rate of 35 percent and renewal rate of 64 percent.
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Oct 3, 2002
Previous Article:Deep-six these fast-track cliches from your output. (Editing).
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