This flagship component of Advantage handles all things subscription-related---time-based access, serial content deliveries, pre-purchased access quantities, and, of course, issue-based subscriptions. The subscription business model is fully supported. Subscriptions can be adjusted, suspended for non-payment, graced on expire, renewed, and much more. Complete activity tracking feeds detailed subscriber and promotion analysis, and revenue is deferred on order and earned over the term of the service. The system helps your customer service reps retain customers and, ideally, sell them additional items or services.
Key features include:
Packages and Bundles: Create items that represent a combination of other products with special package pricing. Package components can be subscriptions, one-off items and print or digital subscriptions. Selectable packages allow the customer to mix and match the components they want. The group of products can be specially priced and renewed together.
Web Order and Self-Service: With Cider, Advantage's eCommerce platform, customers can order, pay, and make their own changes on your website. Their updates are made in the Advantage database in real time, through the API. As soon as a promotion is activated, its offers and creative are available on your website without having to involve your web team, enabling faster time to market.
Load Data: Load orders, payments, customer changes, and other data generated from outside sources, such as agents, telephone sales vendors, bank lockboxes, off-line order capture partners, etc. The upload tool transforms the various files into XML, then checks and corrects the records based on rules you maintain (automatically and through an error-handling view).
Sophisticated Renewal Features: Use any combination of channels and timing, next-price management, ride-along offers, and response analysis. Customer service can view promotions sent and enter a renewal from a tracking number. Subscriptions can be automatically renewed and paid through a linked credit card or direct debit arrangement.
Customer Service: Quickly handle requests to adjust services, handle claims, replace issues, research a question, etc. The contact is logged, and a standard (or customized) response is then sent to the customer by email, mail, or SMS. Integration with your phone system gives customer service a 360-degree view of customer activity as they pick up the call, and an upsell feature helps them sell products targeted to that customer.
Business Intelligence: Numerous standard reports provide information on key performance indicators. Detailed and summarized data is accessible through user-defined reports/extracts and pivot tables. With the Business Intelligence module, you can access reports, graphs, and pivot tables from the web. Snapshot, historical, and comparison analysis of the subjects and key performance indicators are available on demand.
Additional features that relate to specific types of subscribed products are:
Access to Content & Entitlements
Advantage allows you to sell, track, manage, and charge for access to online content on a subscription basis. Access can be time-based, issue-based, or usage-based, such as pay-per-view.
Advantage supports large content-access sales for multi-site agreements with many participants, such as a large consortium. Sales support for large agreements includes price caps, renewal discounts, price overrides (with good-until dates), link-related agreements, and more. The agreement can accommodate a company with multiple locations, with each location having access to different content.
Magazines and Newsletters
Advantage offers absolute flexibility in managing your magazine and newsletter business. You will not find a more comprehensive system anywhere in the world. It allows you to:
- Entangle prospects with content through free lists, trials, and forced-free trials
- Standardize addresses and automatically check for duplicates
- Apply unlimited pricing structures by issues, time, geography, and currency
- Identify marketing efforts, channel, creative elements, name source, etc.
- Create promotion choices for different deals — price, term, premiums, bundle, auto-renewal, and more
- Award loyalty points and run sweepstake contests
- Perform extensive response tracking and analysis
- Offer gift subscription messages/cards and renew-to-done alternatives
- Employ a dynamic editions feature, varying content and ride-along inserts/offers
- Institute comprehensive gracing rules
- Provide multiple delivery methods with optional, geographic-based charges
- Integrate with distribution vendors, which reduces lead time
- Create renewal price paths to move customers to standard pricing over time
- Comply fully with audit bureau requirements (AAM)
Advantage clients include world-class journal publishers who know that when it comes to managing journals, Advantage is the global leader. Advantage offers:
- Subscribe-by-volume group for libraries
- Membership and society management/reporting
- Compatibility with the Ringgold Institutional identifier and relationships
- The ability to load ICEDIS inbound (orders, renewals) and outbound (pricing, renewals) files for online and print journals
Business-to-Business Titles/Controlled Publications
Advantage has the functionality needed to meet the unique requirements of controlled publications, including:
- Automated "contact to account" customer relationships
- Support for qualified free subscriptions with short/long form requalification
- Tools to manage circulation, including delayed starts, drops, and adds
- Comprehensive demographics and questionnaires for additional reporting
- Full support for audit bureau requirements (BPA), including unit audit
Newspaper publishers worldwide rely on Advantage to handle their business. Features relevant to the newspaper industry include:
- Support for any frequency, including daily, weekdays, weekend-only, just Friday, etc.
- Multiple editions with automated geo-based edition assignment
- Alternate delivery with incident tracking
- The option to pay in arrears for issues received during a period (such as monthly) with count-based price per issue (price changes on 50th issue, for example)
- Newsstand and bulk distribution
Related Blog Posts
Can One Subscription Model Fit All?, June 27, 2016