Kim Gjerstad’s 360-Degree Marketing Presentation at last year’s WordCamp Europe concludes with a stark reality: coopetition marketing requires deft maneuvering.
We’ve spent a couple of months dissecting MailPoet’s marketing tour de force. As he finishes up, Mr. Gjerstad points out his lack of enthusiasm for coupon marketing; MailPoet after all is a subscription service with recurring costs and coupons aren’t especially well suited to that kind of product or service.
The big close is a presentations technique. While Gjerstad, a last-minute fill-in with this presentation, doesn’t actually “end strong”—literally, he trails off at the end—his last couple of points about the many issues MailPoet successfully navigated in marketing their WordPress plug-in/non-plugin are huge:
Like most examples of coopetition marketing, The WordPress Repository—where WordPoet and most successful WordPress add-on software derive the lion’s share of their downloads—has rules. And while there’s more to it than just this, the rule that really matters is that all software in the WordPress Repository, like WordPress itself, must be free.
While it sounds like that would make it difficult to make money from WordPress-based ancillary software and still be distributed in WordPress’ software repository, developers figure out ways to augment their software with add-on paid features. In fact, even WordPress parent Automattic does this, by selling both features on WordPress.com-hosted blogs that are otherwise unavailable and features that extend WordPress for people and businesses that choose to host WordPress themselves. So Kim Gjerstad negotiated with the moderators of the WordPress Repository to create what amounts to free and paid versions of MailPoet. And there’s MailPoet’s coverage on the issue of making coopetition marketing-derived money.
But as we learned earlier in the 360-degree marketing presentation, Kim Gjerstad has a larger issue to contend with; MailPoet is a WordPress plug-in, but it doesn’t do business like one.
The issue goes way beyond MailPoet having a revenue model unlike that of most WordPress plug-ins. MailPoet competes with way-better-established software like Constant Contact and MailChimp, both of which sell access to email and newsletter distribution through their servers rather than yours.
If you don’t run your own server that can (contact us; it doesn’t need to) be a big deal. But as Kim Gjerstad points out, the story that MailPoet’s competitors tell is as much a marketing misdirect as a representation of how content marketing actually works. So think about it: as I write this the paid version of MailPoet costs approximately $100 per year and leaves you in complete control of everything, all managed within WordPress. MailChimp’s entry-level plan costs $120 per year for what MailPoet gives you free, and Constant Contact’s least expensive plan goes for $240 annually.
I prefer MailPoet, and we use it both here at Answer Guy Central and at Video Network One. I can confirm that the MailPoet team is every bit as responsive as Kim Gjerstad says it is. And as a case demonstrating the right way to go about 360-marketing, MailPoet is simply … the best I’ve ever seen.
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