We shipped 27 newsletters during the third quarter. Our open rate averaged 60%. Based on analysis conducted by our email service provider, e-newsletters in our category average an open rate of 15-25%. Here is the newsletter that readers found the most intriguing:
We issued 85 research updates during 3Q17. Here are the ten updates that reached the most readers during the quarter:
- Breaking News: Schlumberger Enters The West Texas Frac Sand Mine Race
- A Wake-Up Call From Culberson County – Aequor Is Coming In Big, Fast, And Contracted [Update & Pictures]
- 10 Interesting Things We Learned During Last Week’s Frac Sand Supply & Logistics Conference
- Trucking All That Kermit Sand: Hidden Delays & Major Routes [Part 1]
- EOG Picked A Good One. Why Isn’t The Shale Industry Doing More Of This?
- The Customer Is Always Right, And Here’s What Customers Are Saying About In-Basin Sand
- Halliburton Drops A Sand Bomb, But Is It Signal Or Noise?
- After 100 Years Of Sand Ranching, We’ve Learned A Few Things About These West Texas Dunes [Guest Post]
- Schlumberger Just Delivered The Best Macro Summary We’ve Heard In A Long Time
- Bulletproofing Black Mountain – A Look Behind The Gate
Special thanks to all our readers, contributing members and everyone that commented on a story this past quarter as well. Your input is what makes this platform stand out from the rest, and we look forward to learning from you in the weeks and months ahead.
A Word On Independence
At a recent industry conference, we were asked by a potential subscriber about Infill Thinking’s independence policy and how we maintain it in this competitive space.
We love this question – it cuts straight to the heart of why we started Infill Thinking. The question should really be phrased this way: who is paying for the content you are reading? Then follow the money…
Many other websites derive a material portion of revenue from advertising sales (50%+) . Infill Thinking’s total advertising sales during year one amount to exactly $0. Individual and group subscribers comprise virtually all of our first year revenue as we approach our one year anniversary in a couple weeks from now.
Our largest group subscriber account represents less than 4% of total sales and our average subscriber contributes well under half of one percent. While we certainly want everyone to renew, we aren’t dependent on any one customer to pay our bills. This means we don’t write articles in order to please any single customer. For us, succeeding in business depends on renewals which only happen if we produce valuable and objective content. Our interests are aligned with readers not revenue. Stories written just to make companies happy may actually hurt our bottom line, so we call it like we see it. This is by design.
To be clear, we are inherently pro-industry and excited about what’s going on in the oilfield. When we visit with company reps to learn about their activity on site, we listen carefully to their talking points. When we find the points to be noteworthy, they may make it into our reporting. This has nothing to do with “pay-to-play.” We simply believe some of this information we hear is important for readers to hear as well. Alongside it we deliver invaluable market intelligence to readers that can’t be found anywhere else.
Hit pieces are not our M.O. here at Infill Thinking, but we do occasionally draw conclusions based on facts and our knowledge of the industry that make companies uncomfortable. We can send a few examples on request. We’ve penned plenty of analyses that some ad-based websites would steer clear of because they involve potential advertisers and controversy
Even if mostly ad-based platforms maintain their objectivity (and some certainly do), over dependence on ads never-the-less creates a perception of bias in the eye of the consumer. So we’ve made a commitment to every paying Infill Thinking subscriber that they will see no advertisements on our website. Standing by this commitment, we’ve actually turned down multiple companies who asked to advertise with us this year. This is a differentiating factor in our subscriber experience. This is also a big part of why Infill Thinking’s subscriber count grew 74% during 3Q17.
We are currently evaluating adding a free once-per-week email separate from the subscriber newsletter. This could eventually involve limited sponsorship, but we would carefully select the counter-party to avoid conflicts of interest and paying subscribers will never see ads.
Thank you for supporting Infill Thinking’s subscriber model. It is because of discerning individual readers like you that we are able to take the path less traveled and pay our bills while maintaining our independence. If you want to learn more about our rules of engagement to protect our independence, check out this page on our website.
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