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May 17, 2001
Interview Gets 500 Paying Subscribers Averaging $829 Each

SUMMARY: If you plan to sell business-to-business information via online subscription, definitely check out this article.
Peter Valli, Product Manager, called us to share the happy news that they've hit 500 subscribers, at an average price of $829, smack dab on the directories' first anniversary online. The site is an ancillary product from the Advertising Red Books directories, which have been around in print for about 80 years.

Valli initially marketed the online version with banner ads on as well as print ads in Ad Age magazine. Currently many of his new sales leads float in of their own accord from search engines. New site visitors can sign up for a seven-day free trial, but Valli's team checks them all before activating because a (very) few companies have tried to get freebies multiple times instead of paying up. Trials are view-only -- people can't print out or download data until they pay.

Trials receive email notices, plus telesales calls to convert them into buyers. Valli said he's not entirely happy with his current 3% trial-to-buyer conversion rate, but with our bird's eye view of the content industry we think he's doing just fine. Anyway, as Valli says, "It's a lot cheaper than direct mail marketing!"
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