Dr. Dave Chaffey, Co-founder Smart Insights, Digital strategist since 1997, Author, Consultant, Keynote speaker and Trainer, talks to your host Vahe Arabian of State of Digital Publishing. Smart Insights is a publisher and learning platform that assists marketers plan, manage and optimize their marketing using their guides. Dave Chaffey discusses ways that Smart Insights have adapted and executed their subscription marketing efforts, how they have built a sense of engagement and community, and also important steps to take to retain customers. 


Episode Highlights: 

    • How have things changed for Smart Insights in the past two years? 
    • What types of competition are they seeing more of these days? 
    • How has the balance been between free content and paid content? 
    • Has Dave Chaffey’s role changed because of the shift to more enterprise? 
    • What is the content play like with marketing? 
    • Why are offline events a good way to drive subscribers and a sense of community? 
    • Which platforms are appearing to be the most influential?
    • Which inbound best practices have they learned about while moving into enterprise sales?
    • What has helped close more enterprise sales more quickly? 
    • How important is the point of contact that has originally purchased the subscription to maintain the enterprise subscription with the company? 
    • How have they maintained a long retention rate with their customers? 
    • Are there any mechanisms they have in place to continue to retain customers?
    • How do they deal with customers that stop using their service? 
    • How should you develop the best martech stack for subscription business and for marketers?
    • How should publishers approach subscription marketing? 


3 Key Points:

  1.   Platforms that have been beneficial have been Google Organic, as well as Linkedin to create community and share content. In the last year, Smart Insights have grown their Linkedin followers from 8000-18000. 
  2.   Smart Insights gets about 500,000 visits per month and about 80% of that traffic comes from Google.
  3. Customer retention techniques that Dave Chaffey believes in include: measuring how many active members you have, understanding customer lifecycle, the resources customers use, having regular email marketing, 


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “All publishers have this tension between what is behind the gated content between free content that is gated.” – Dr. Dave Chaffey
  • “I am very much involved with doing the research about the type of content that our audience is interested in and looking at trends with my colleagues who manage the content…how we can cover the latest innovations.” – Dr. Dave Chaffey
  • “What are your real interests? How can we help you? Then tailor the proposition that way. So we have really built out our inbound marketing and our onboarding sequences.” – Dr. Dave Chaffey


Referenced links:


  • Advisory Support
  • Insights & Data
  • Content Cluster Strategy Toolkit

You're busy, but you like to
get the best of digital media publishing.

Let it come to your inbox once
a week.




See how one digital publisher increased its organic traffic by 600% with Google News Top Stories Carousel + best practices and troubleshooting tips



See how one digital publisher increased its organic traffic by 600% with Google News Top Stories Carousel + best practices and troubleshooting tips

Stay on top of news and trends in digital publishing with our newsletter