At SimpleCirc we're publishers too and we were once in your shoes. When you're first getting your magazine, newspaper, or newsletter off the ground it may seem like paying $99/month for subscriber management software doesn't make sense.
Many new publishers think, "hey, I'll just use a spreadsheet in the beginning and see what happens".
Spreadsheets are great for many tasks of a business. (heck, we use them every day) Their great for tracking expensese, forcasting profits, and much more.
However, spreadsheets are horrible for tracking subscribers!
If you are using a spreadsheet, everything has to be done manually. If you take a new order you need to enter the subscriber, their address, their order, and much more into your spreadsheet. If you get a renewal you need to find the person in your spreadsheet, update thier issues and make any other changes.
If a subscriber wants to update their address or put their subscription on hold they aren't going to do it themselves in your spreadsheet!
When it's time for your next issue to come out you need to figure out who is going to get it, take an issue off for everyone, and then manually change any statuses for those who now have no issues remaining.
Additionally, planning renewal efforts, tracking promotions, tracking merchandise and back issue purchases, and keeping notes on each subscriber becomes a nightmare.
The bottom line is spreadsheets are VERY time-consuming. What is your time worth?
Would you rather spend all of your time updating a spreadsheet for your new publication or focusing on the content, growing your circulation, and finding new subscribers that are passionate about your topic?
At SimpleCirc there is nothing we love more than seeing a new publication grow and thrive. We have seen time and again, the publishers that focus their time on the right tasks (and not on manually managing their list) are the ones who succeed.
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