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Dovetail Subscriptions Management - Blog

The UK Subscription Fulfilment Report

The UK Subscription Fulfilment Report is a 2-volume guide to choosing, using and getting the most from subscription fulfilment systems and service bureaux.  It provides up-to-date information and expert advice on all aspects of subscriptions management, from choosing a suitable supplier to defining an ideal reporting package.   &nbs...

Date 27/02/2017 | By Gill Lambert

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Client Exit Guidance

This document provides an overview of the data exit process for Dovetail clients. We will be making regular updates as new questions arise, so please check this post for version updates. This version was updated on 10th March 2017 Client Exit Guidance Document – Version 3.0...

Date 09/02/2017 | By Gill Lambert

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Subscriptions Management Suppliers

We have collected details of alternative suppliers to help our customers with their transition away from Dovetail. Please re-visit this post for additions and updates Bureaux HH&S Select Warners ESco Webscribe Intermedia abacus e-media Quadrant Subscription Services IMS CDS Global Software abacus e-media Oak Subscriptions Software My...

Date 02/02/2017 | By Gill Lambert

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Client event: Fulfillment solutions workshop

Subscription management options 10 am Friday 24th February at PPA, 35 – 38 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6BW A half-day workshop for Dovetail clients which identifies the range of subscription management options and suppliers.  The following items will be covered during the session: Creating a list of subscription fulfilment requireme...

Date 01/02/2017 | By Gill Lambert

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Dovetail Services To Be Wound Down

Dennis Publishing and Immediate Media Co – joint-owners of subscriptions management specialist Dovetail Services Ltd – have decided not to renew their joint venture agreement when it expires in April this year. The owners believe that the current market is over-served by existing providers and consolidation is inevitable. Additionally...

Date 30/01/2017 | By Gill Lambert

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Watch Out! Amazon is coming!

Amazon has sold magazine subscriptions, in both print and digital formats, for some years – more in the USA than here in the UK.  Yet it has always looked a bit half-hearted about a category it could never quite understand.  Now all that looks set to change.  In the USA, Amazon has just added a […]...

Date 21/10/2016 | By Jim Bilton

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Dovetail Client Event: Kado – the digital loyalty platform

Presented by Paul Serby, Kado product owner,  at the September 2016 Dovetail Client Event. Kado is a digital loyalty platform – built for everybody, customised for your brand. Powered by a user-friendly CMS, Kado makes it easy to give your subscribers the offers, events and competitions they want, driving subscriptions and brand loyal...

Date 03/10/2016 | By Gill Lambert

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DTLabs: Unique research opportunity

DTLabs is a unique research project from Dovetail Services that uses Dovetail staff in focus groups. It allows for discussion not only of content and general issues, but also of publishing processes to deliver insights that can have a practical application. Background This project was launched in 2015 as a part of a larger industry-wi...

Date 20/06/2016 | By Gill Lambert

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Introducing the new Dovetail ‘ecosystem’ that will transform the way our clients manage their subscriptions

We are excited to announced that our Development Preview and Workshop event on Wednesday 15 June will see the Beta launch of our groundbreaking new subscriptions management platform. Codenamed ‘Project Connect’, it represents a brand new approach to subscriptions software. Using big data and cloud architecture, it will provide our cli...

Date 09/06/2016 | By Gill Lambert

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Merlin Stone – the End of the Beginning

From Professor Merlin Stone’s presentation at the 2016 Dovetail Conference – Selling Subscriptions in an Amazon World.  Everything is changing, and at an accelerating speed. Putting your faith in self-appointed experts might not be wise, because, as nobody knows where we are now, no one can say with any certainty what’s...

Date 27/01/2016 | By Don Brown

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Dovetail Conference 2016 – Jim Bilton

In this presentation Jim Bilton from Wessenden Marketing gives the detailed learnings from our 2015 consumer research programme, examining issues around customer loyalty, service flexibility, consumer commitment and product complexity. He also includes some feedback from our first DT Labs focus group which was made up of Dovetail sta...

Date 22/01/2016 | By Don Brown

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Dovetail Conference 2016 – Merlin Stone

An invigorating talk from Merlin Stone, Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes and Portsmouth universities challenging the traditional “business school” model of decision making and discussing how technology and operations can and should drive strategy. Professor Stone also discussed how efficiency and effectiveness in managing custom...

Date 22/01/2016 | By Don Brown

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Dovetail Conference 2016: Selling Subscriptions in an Amazon World

The Dovetail Conference is an annual gathering of Dovetail clients and partners. The purpose of this event is to share feedback from the annual Dovetail Client Satisfaction Survey, to inform our customers about Dovetail’s service development plans, and to deliver some insights into customer behaviours and industry developments th...

Date 15/01/2016 | By Gill Lambert

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Listening to your customers – the Dovetail approach to customer care

Dovetail has been working with the PPA and Wessenden Marketing over the past six months to produce some original consumer research that looks at the future of the magazine subscription. We will be sharing our learnings on 18th November at Customer Direct, the PPA’s annual direct marketing conference,  as well as posting some ‘dir...

Date 12/11/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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Black Friday – yes or no?

General feedback from the market is that gift subscription sales are sluggish so far, with volumes from many channels running below last year. This chimes with the trends identified in the recent Dovetail gift subscription analysis, that Christmas spending is starting later each year. This calls for strong nerves on the part of marketing...

Date 09/11/2015 | By Don Brown

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Christmas Benchmarking Update

One of the most popular of the research guides on the site has been Laurence Kite’s Christmas Benchmarking report. This looked at the numbers behind gift subscriptions across the Dovetail universe in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and picked out the key trends. The idea is that clients can then compare their own numbers against these figures ...

Date 26/10/2015 | By Don Brown

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New client analytics dashboard

The latest tool from the Dovetail Development team is a dashboard to top-level stats from Google Analytics which lets clients see how their pages are performing via a web interface. The dashboard repackages the often too detailed and therefore confusing raw data from GA into a user-friendly display that picks out the key metrics that sub...

Date 16/10/2015 | By Don Brown

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Why subscriptions matter

A couple of bits of – on the face of it – unrelated news, but both point to why publishers in particular would do well to concentrate activity on generating more subscriptions. The first are some stats from eConsultancy about the use of ad blocking software. This is software that reduces or removes the ad […]...

Date 08/09/2015 | By Don Brown

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Email marketing on mobile devices

Neatly tying in with some recent posts on the growth of mobile and the effectiveness of email, a couple of external reports show just how important this channel is to us all. First is the Marketing Compass Report – a quarterly snapshot of email trends from the ESP Yesmail – which reports that more than 25% […]...

Date 07/09/2015 | By Don Brown

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Jellyfish Connect launches

Further to the news about iSubscribe now marketing Zinio digital editions and the launch of Sainsbury’s Digital newsstand, another subscription collaboration has been announced. Jellyfish are merging with MagazineCloner to form Jellyfish Connect (which should be written, for reasons best known to themselves, as CoNNect). The new co...

Date 25/08/2015 | By Don Brown

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Print subscriptions continue to fall – Ofcom

The Ofcom Communications Market report is a mine of information about changing media consumption in the UK. We’ve looked at the changes in ways that consumers are accessing the internet, and the growth of mobile in a research posting here, but on page 399 of the report (yep, it is over 400 pages long), is […]...

Date 24/08/2015 | By Don Brown

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UK now “a smartphone society”

Smartphones have now more popular than laptops for getting online according to the latest Ofcom research; record ownership and use is transforming the way we communicate and the way we do business. Two thirds of UK adults now own a smartphone (up from 39% in 2012), and they use it for an average of nearly two hours every day […...

Date 19/08/2015 | By Don Brown

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iSubscribe to offer Zinio digital editions

iSubscribe, the third party magazine subscription retailer, has announced a partnership with Zinio to offer Zinio digital editions via the iSubscribe platform. At present this seems to be only on iSubscribe’s UK site and also does not involve the white label sites (e.g. the W H Smith subscription site) that iSubscribe powers. It is ...

Date 10/08/2015 | By Don Brown

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What do your subscribers think of you?

Data is great (or, if we want to be grammatically correct, data are great, but as that sounds weird, I’m going to treat data as a singular throughout). Anyway, data is great. It allows us to see what’s happening with our subscription records; how our different classes of subscriber respond in different ways to, say, […]...

Date 30/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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Telemarketing – top tips

At the recent Dovetail Services User Group on telemarketing, Jim Bilton of Wessenden Marketing gave his top tips for running a successful campaign. He also gave a market overview and various case studies (which you can find here) and there was a Supplier Showcase where five leading telemarketing companies each gave a short presentation of...

Date 29/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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Print and Digital Bundles – The Week Case Study

The recent launch of the Sainsbury’s digital newsstand is a good peg on which to hand the issue of digital and print bundled subscriptions. Many publishers find reasonably swift growth when they first start to sell digital editions, but just as quickly they realise these subs have plateaued; anecdotally, the ‘natural’ li...

Date 28/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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Christmas promotion benchmarking

With the school holidays well under way, it’s naturally time to start thinking about Christmas promotions. Laurence Kite, one of Dovetail’s Senior Account Managers and the company’s lead on the Business Intelligence suite has been diving into the figures to identify trends and to highlight opportunities for subscription ...

Date 27/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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Sainsbury’s Launch Digital Newsstand

Another channel for publishers’ digital magazines opened up last week with the launch of the Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand service. This is a new platform from the retailer that offers movies, ebooks, music and now magazines. The site uses the PocketMags/MagazineCloner engine, so any title currently listed on PocketMag...

Date 27/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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The 2015 PPA Awards

Congratulations to all of last night’s Award winners, but a special shout out to the Dovetail clients that took home a top prize: Columnist of the Year (Consumer Media) Alison Graham Radio Times, Immediate Media Co Consumer Magazine of the Year The Week Dennis Publishing Specialist Consumer Magazine of the Year Cyclist Dennis Publis...

Date 10/07/2015 | By Lizzie Mooney

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Top Tips for Generating Extra Revenue

We all know that it’s a tough market out there. Many companies are struggling to keep their subscription numbers up; nearly everyone is finding their margins squeezed. The landscape is dynamic and fluid and the future very uncertain. These are just dome of the reasons why looking at other ways to generate revenue from your […]...

Date 01/07/2015 | By Don Brown

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Tele-marketing supplier showcase

Join us on Thursday 23rd July 2015 Our clients regularly ask for our opinion of the various telemarketing  providers available in the subscriptions market so we thought it would be a great idea to invite a range of providers to present an overview of the service directly to those clients! This is your chance to compare and […]...

Date 26/06/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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Combining online with offline

An interesting test being run by the Royal Mail in association with ‘a major online retailer’ that will certainly be worth keeping an eye on. If one ignores the nonsense about “junk mail deluge” in this Guardian report, one can see that this might be very useful to certain ecommerce retailers, particularly those w...

Date 22/06/2015 | By Don Brown

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It’s not just Christmas

We all know the importance of the Christmas period for gift subscriptions, but what other times of the year are important for gifting, and how does your performance compare against Dovetail’s overall benchmark figures? Taking the last three years worth of Dovetail client data we’ve put together some information on when in the...

Date 15/06/2015 | By Don Brown

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Better checkouts mean better conversion rates

What’s the drop out rate for your checkout? Industry benchmarks put it as high as 68%, which means that for every three people who put something in their basket two of them don’t actually buy anything. Two out of three! Imagine the difference to your CPA if you could get some of those people to convert. […]...

Date 03/06/2015 | By Don Brown

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Customer reviews – how they can boost your bottom line

By adding reviews and star ratings to their ecommerce pages Dennis Publishing increased conversion rates – they also boosted click through rates from PPC campaigns and saw an improvement in customer retention rates. At the Dovetail Conference in February, Gary Briggs from Dennis told us how. Dennis always have an eye on the bottom l...

Date 21/05/2015 | By Don Brown

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How to survive ‘mobilegeddon’

How has your site traffic been over the past few weeks? And how is your site doing in the search engine rankings? If you’re down in either of these, you could well have been hit by Google’s latest update. Dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’, Google’s recent algorithm change is designed to boost sites that are mobile-friendly and penalise...

Date 20/05/2015 | By Don Brown

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Subscription Conversion Workshop: First Impressions Count

A new subscriber is the “hottest” lead you can get – make sure that you don’t allow them to cool down by either taking them for granted or providing a poor initial experience. The 2014 Subscriber Survey analysis showed that only 53% of customers in the first six months of their subscription intend to renew, […]...

Date 05/05/2015 | By Don Brown

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Subscription Conversion Workshop: Using Reviews to Boost SEO

Search engine optimisation often seems like one of the ‘dark arts’, an area of expertise where it’s very easy to be seduced by the presentations of plausible SEO companies, and where it’s difficult to tell the people who know what they’re doing from those who merely pretend they do. One thing that most commentators agree [&helli...

Date 05/05/2015 | By Don Brown

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Subscription Conversion Workshop: Getting The Most From Customer Service

Customer Service is often viewed as ‘just’ a cost centre, but as Liz Russell explained at the recent Dovetail Subscription conversion workshop, by engaging with the team earlier you can improve the customer experience and reduce the number of problems that occur. This will have a positive impact on retention rates and lifetime value....

Date 05/05/2015 | By Don Brown

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Subscription Conversion Workshop: E-commerce Top Tips

At Dovetail’s recent Subscription Conversion workshop, Carl Faulkner spoke on ways to improve e-commerce performance, using examples from publishing and beyond to show how other companies have tackled ways to generate extra conversions and reduce drop out in the sales funnel. By using analytics to identify the places where change is lik...

Date 29/04/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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Subscription Marketing Update: April 2015

Jim Bilton of Wessenden Marketing provides Dovetail clients with a regular update of the key developments in the Direct & Digital areas of magazine publishing.  Wessenden Marketing produces a newsletter, “Wessenden Briefing”, eight times per year, which provides a complete overview of all the trends in Audience Development across...

Date 24/04/2015 | By Jim Bilton

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Subscription conversion workshop: 23rd April 2015

The next Dovetail client event will take place on Thursday 23rd April at The British Library and is a practical workshop that will deliver a range of tips and techniques on ways to improve order conversion rates. The workshop will comprise of four interactive presentations, delivered by the Dovetail senior account management team: E-comme...

Date 25/03/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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Increase your e-commerce subscription conversions with Feefo

The Dovetail subscriptions management service now includes the option to collect user-generated ratings and reviews. We have partnered with Feefo to collect feedback from your customers, manage their comments via our contact centre and publish their overall ratings on our e-commerce platform. Collecting, managing and publishing customer f...

Date 27/02/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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Dovetail Christmas Benchmark Report 2014

One of the most frequently asked questions for our account management team at this time of year is How did Christmas sales perform for other Dovetail clients? To answer this question, senior account manager Laurence Kite has produced an interactive benchmark report that lets each of our clients compare their results with the average respo...

Date 17/02/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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New Subscriber Survey Report now available

This new report was commissioned by Dovetail as a part of our annual Client Conference. The theme for this year’s event was customer service so we commissioned Wessenden Marketing to interrogate our latest Subscriber Survey data and investigate what customer service means to your customers, and how their expectations of customer ser...

Date 01/02/2015 | By Gill Lambert

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