Here’s a frequent email I get:
Love the site. But answering a survey each day is killing me.
While I think our decision to lean on once-daily or weekly surveys to unlock site content is a better solution than using 30-second autoplay video ads and tricky pop-ups, which many sites do in one form or another (including CSN Philly, Philly.com, Gawker and others) I understand that for our most frequent readers, many of whom visit the site 4-5 times per day, the surveys can be an annoyance.
So, we’re offering up an alternative: A monthly or yearly premium subscriber option that will allow you to disable all surveys on the site.
Let me be clear: This is not a paywall. If you have no interest in paying to read content online, which some of you never will — that’s fine. You can continue reading the site as you have been. Nothing changes. There will still be the occasional survey question to unlock content for a day or week. But you now have the option to pay a small fee – $4 per month, or about the price of one cup of coffee at Starbucks – to disable the surveys and receive great discounts at select local businesses (more on that in a second). You can also subscribe annually for just $30, which takes the price down to a measly $2.50 per month.
What does all that get you?
- No surveys.
- Exclusive discounts on tickets, t-shirts (ours included), restaurants, services and more. We are still working on getting these together and will be announcing all of our partners in the coming weeks. We already have several good ones signed on.
- Automatic entries (2) into any contest we have– tickets, t-shirts, memorabilia, etc.
The goal is for the second item – discounts – to essentially make the subscription pay for itself and then some for the typical reader (saving real money on things you as a Philly sports fan actually buy or use on a regular basis). Though I’m aware that most of you who sign up will be doing so to gain a more seamless reading experience, I want to make sure the discounts make it worth your while.
It’s been almost three years since we started using surveys on the site. At the time, I explained that one of the goals was to use the additional revenue to bring on a second full-time writer. Which I did, one year later. The use of surveys has in no way hurt site visits. In fact, the site has grown substantially since:
Similarly, the goal of the subscription option, from a business standpoint, is to both diversify site revenue and make it more consistent throughout the year, with the eventual goal of growing the site to include more writers and contributors and paid video and audio editors and producers. In a few years, website will be an archaic term used to refer to something that simply lives beneath a URL. To keep up the momentum, Crossing Broad needs to grow into a multi-platform outlet with video, audio, app and social content that is different, irreverent, funny, and what you’ve come to expect from CB. Those sound like buzz phrases, but that’s the way things are moving. In 5-7 years, I don’t expect Crossing Broad to be something you just type into your browser. It will be something you also watch on YouTube, read in apps, and stream through your TV and in your car. The subscriber option will allow us, through a more stable income stream, to hire the talent needed to grow. Though advertising and surveys (for non-subscribers) are not going away, having a subscriber base will lessen our reliance on those things and give us more flexibility to grow and stay ahead of the curve. I imagine the subscriber option will also extend to those aforementioned platforms in some way, shape or form.
How do you sign up? Simple: You can just click here, or click the link below the banner that says “Subscribe or login to disable surveys.” It’s been up there all week and the response, with no promotion whatsoever, has already been pretty incredible. Annual subscriptions outnumber monthlies roughly 2-to-1. It’s very easy to do. You may use your credit card, but you can also use PayPal, Amazon or Dwolla. There’s a good chance you use one of those latter three (probably Amazon), so you likely won’t even have to take out your wallet.
Here’s what the process looks like:
Your confirmation email will look like this:
And if you realllllly like what we do and want to support the site, you can choose to pay more. Tinypass reports that in many cases up to a third of subscribers offer some amount more when given the option. You don’t have to and that is of course not even expected – I am legitimately grateful for everyone who hits that subscribe button – but it is an option.
The transaction is 100% secure and managed by Tinypass – which works with many much larger websites as well as local newspapers and publications – and we never see your payment information. All we get is your name and email address, which will only be used occasionally to communicate news and updates related to your subscription, from us (no spam!).
Once you subscribe, Tinypass leaves you logged in by default. So as long as you don’t clear your cookies frequently or browse in private mode, you will always be logged in when you visit the site. You may have to do so once for each browser or device (computer, phone, Facebook, etc.). If you do log out, you can just hit the login link at the top of the site and sign in through Tinypass.
The comments on this have the potential to be ?, but know that this is merely an option if you want a better reading experience and to help Crossing Broad continue to grow. As always, thanks for your support!
Note: If you’re a local business and are interested in being included in our discount offer – free of charge, with promotion in all subscription marketing – drop me an email.