Why are you charging for subscriptions?
Most media brands ruin the customer experience by filing their sites with ads and interstitials that make it difficult to read. They spam their audience with third-party marketing emails. They flog award programs or events to make up for revenue declines in other areas. As a publication focused on the world’s best customer experiences, I didn’t want to do any of those things.
I’m also an independent journalist. That means I freelance for other publications in addition to running 360, and the best business model seemed to be creating exclusive library of content to help CX professionals. This means I don’t have to do tricks with SEO or write sensationalistic things in order to drive traffic and go after eyeballs. Instead, I can focus on the smallest, best audience. I hope you find it’s worth the money.
Do you still have to pay to subscribe if you or your organization was covered or featured in a story? What if I’m a PR professional and just want to show the coverage to my client?
Yes — in the days before online media existed, it was a given that PR and those being covered in newspapers and magazines would have to go and buy copies of the newspaper or magazine. More often, they subscribed to them. While this was less true of B2B publications historically, I’m not exploiting a controlled circulation list by renting it out to vendors. I appreciate anyone who is willing to be a source, but offering free access to the content would be akin to paying sources, which no reputable media entity would do.
Some stories are free to read but others are gated. How do you choose which ones are subscriber-only?
360 features regular roundups of interesting CX-related stories around the web, which will always be free to read. The same goes for more time-sensitive news stories and those that focus more on products and services. Other stories are offered free in order to promote the publication to a wider audience and hopefully encourage subscriptions. Eventually, though, almost everything will become subscriber-only, after they’ve been up for a month. Access to archives is a subscriber benefit.
I signed up for your newsletter. What does that give me?
The newsletter is purely a distribution medium to let people know about the stories I’m publishing and any news about what I’m doing with 360. You still have to be a paid subscriber to read most of the content.
How do you decide your pricing?
The basic tier of $7/month (or $9/month Canadian) is fairly common on Patreon, the service I use that supports independent creators. I also thought that offering exclusive stories on CX is worth the price of a few cups of coffee a week.
You’re working on a print magazine. Can you get the print issue without being a paid subscriber to the site?
If you are a paid online subscriber, do you get the print issue free?
No. There is much higher overhead in producing a print magazine, particularly shipping costs. I may offer copies to online subscribers at a discount, though.
Will you be taking sponsorships from CX vendors?
Yes, but these will mostly involve the development of content marketing assets, hosting events and other services that I regularly provide via my content marketing practice.
I want to contribute to 360 as a guest author, or offer an exclusive bylined article from my boss/client! Do you accept those, and if so what’s the process?
360 will not run guest posts or bylined articles at this time. The value for subscribers is to get editorial content developed by myself or any other professional journalists I decide to bring on board.