Suppliers spotlight

Welcome to our latest subs special, this time looking at all aspects of new subscriber acquisition. All of the insights and opinions come from leading suppliers to the publishing sector and from senior management at UK publishing companies.

By James Evelegh

Suppliers spotlight
Photograph: Sebastian Hages on Unsplash.

Our ‘new subscriber acquisition’ special feature consists of five separate sections:

Key stages

Key performance areas

Organisational structure

In a nutshell

Suppliers Spotlight


AdvantageCS is the developer of Advantage – marketing, subscription and membership software for publishers. Leading companies rely on Advantage to manage their digital subscriptions, entitlements, magazines, bundles, e-products, memberships, conferences and events, continuity programs, product orders, payments, telemarketing and customer service.

Advantage also provides an integrated eCommerce platform, multi-channel sales, high availability, sophisticated business intelligence tools, and digital payment methods, EFT, direct debit, and credit card processing.

AdvantageCS is a privately-held corporation, and has been developing software for publishers since 1979. Financially sound, with a worldwide reputation for superior software and service, AdvantageCS is a trusted partner of many global information companies.


Affino's Subscriptions and Memberships Solution is one of ten fully-interconnected elements of the Affino Unified Business Platform. It has been specifically honed and optimised for rapid subscription sign-up, fulfilment, and elegant and automated renewals. Affino consolidates media business functionalities into a single platform – which covers all the pertinent financial services and functions with smart automation, and detailed and intuitive reporting. All Affino’s elements are built into the core SaaS Service – which is served by a universal Audience CRM – for accurate and real-time Single Customer Views of all audience engagements, interactions and transactions. Everything in Affino is served up fully natively and dynamically, which ensures full service fidelity. This is all backed by excellent support, training, development, and advisory services from a highly experienced team.

Air Business Subscriptions

Air Business is a market-leader in subscription management, global mail, fulfilment and distribution for the publishing sector. Air Business Subscriptions has been managing subscriptions since 1972, while our distribution arm has served the publishing sector for 34 years.

Air Business Subscriptions provides global solutions for print, digital and bundled packages for time and issue-based subscriber management.

We grow and retain your customer base using our sophisticated ‘web-first’ platform to expertly manage subscriptions and fulfilment for any product or service, be it a physical magazine, bundle, digital-only access and entitlement or membership.

We implement subscription marketing acquisition and retention strategies, delivering exceptional return on investment, all underpinned with business intelligence and data mining using the latest analytics tools.

Air Business has been a strategic partner of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) since 2010, and we are a committed, active and loyal supporter of the publishing industry.


Axate is the flexible payment tool that aims to fix a broken media market. Users sign up once, upload some money and pay to read per article or per day across any participating site, when and as they like. It complements subscriptions, giving casual readers a way to pay for access and funnelling them into a subscription when they’re ready. Launched by news industry experts, it’s live on 15 sites already with over 31,000 users.

Axate is the simplest, quickest and most scalable way for you to introduce payment for your website on terms to suit you, your product and your customers. It’s free to implement and quick to install on your site, and connects you to an existing network of publications and paying customers. As the network grows, so does the opportunity to earn from your site.

CRM Australia

crmSubscribe is an end-to-end subscription management software that’s helping publishers across the globe grow their community of subscribers. It's a genuine alternative to in-house management and even offers the flexibility to work alongside and improve your current system.

Founder and Chief Architect Alan Leech developed crmSubscribe more than 20 years ago to respond to many of the tech and logistical challenges publishers were facing. Everything from print magazines, newsletters and digital products can get into the hands and screens of customers faster, easier and cheaper than ever before.

Alongside their technically advanced systems, crmSubscribe prioritise usability and their support team, made up of people who are genuine experts on the help desk. Seamless onboarding, smarter autorenewal processes and multiple currency and paywall options are just a few of the features that are changing the way publishers manage and grow their database of subscribers.

The dsb Group provides subscription services for some of the biggest magazine publishers in the world and some of the smallest. Our ‘secret sauce’ is passion for great customer experience, years of experience in subscription marketing and the hottest application development and specialist integration resource in the business – all in-house – so we don’t rely on external developers with conflicting priorities. We innovate, move fast, provide added value and truly bring a breath of fresh air to your sales, marketing and CX strategies. We’re proud of our ability to overcome challenges and to bring new ideas and growth opportunities to clients.


ESco has been providing quality services to professional publishers for over thirty-five years, with integrity at the heart of everything we do. We have all the experience to successfully manage your subscriptions, build your websites, analyse your data and fulfil your marketing campaign ideas, to make them a reality. We are renowned in the industry for our attention to detail, hard-work, and friendly but professional can-do attitude. We partner with a range of industry professionals to delivery exactly what your business requires.


HH&S provides comprehensive marketing and fulfilment services to over 400 titles. Our management team is drawn from both client publisher and agency side to offer a highly experienced and safe pair of hands.

We have created a bespoke user-friendly multi-channel subscriptions platform – managing print, digital, home delivery and postal fulfilment.

HH&S has a long track record in consumer and trade promotional and direct marketing.

We are strong advocates of innovation including the launch of the Evening Standard’s smart contactless subscription card “EROS” and, more recently, the introduction of a flexible voucher subscription solution and an integrated rewards scheme. The flexible voucher solution provides a subscription fulfilled at the newsstand while also providing an effective offering to accounts considering cancellation.

HH&S has in-house creative and promotional marketing resource for the development of subscription acquisition and renewal campaigns.

HH&S is an ACE Best Supply Chain Company of the Year winner.


At interconnect, we assess the business needs of our publishing community partners and create both off-the-shelf and custom built software products. Our standard offerings include the Standfirst CMS suite allowing publishers a simple path to publishing to web, Kindle and Alexa with a lot more to come soon. The Standfirst Paywall can track hundreds of pageviews per second even in a simple configuration, meaning that we can easily support the kind of metred paywalls you tend only to see at larger publishers. We use the experience we’ve gained with large clients to provide answers to all our customer base, large or small, at an effective cost.

For custom development, our UX and design team can create data products, device applications and websites with smooth and simple user flows, keeping satisfaction high and customer support costs to an absolute minimum.

Lineup Systems

Lineup Systems is the world’s leading provider of media sales technology, delivering innovative ERP, sales and subscription management solutions to help growth-focused media companies solve operational challenges and identify revenue opportunities.

Our one-of-a-kind tools are designed to save time, maximise efficiency, and deliver significant cost savings compared to legacy systems.

Our multi-channel, media-specific sales solution, Adpoint, is the preferred advertising system for groups such as Gannett, News Corp, The New York Times, Hearst, Torstar and more. Amplio, the ground-breaking subscription management solution, helps media companies boost their subscription revenue through nurtured workflows, powerful user targeting features, and automated billing processes.

Lineup also offers expert configuration and development services, empowering media brands to focus on what’s most important to their bottom lines.

NewsTeam Group

NewsTeam Group is a UK-wide newspaper and magazine delivery company, providing a professional early morning service to over 74,000 addresses across the UK. As of May 2021, we are delivering to over 50,000 of our own direct delivery customers. In addition to our own customer base, we fulfil the delivery of subscription copies on behalf of several publishers. NTG operates a delivery network consisting of strategically placed distribution and packing hubs; working with several hundred contractor deliverers and partner retailers to maximise national coverage.

Working in direct partnership has allowed us to reduce complicated structures and dependencies, as well as finding innovative solutions for publishers within our audience.

We offer sampling as a means to introduce magazine brands to new print subscribers from our existing network, and then direct sales opportunity and fulfilment services to support that acquisition moving forwards.


Passendo is Europe’s leading platform commercialising newsletter inventory. Founded in 2016, our award-winning email ad server and SSP helps some of the world’s largest publishers activate incremental revenues in an existing and untapped media channel.

Our email ad server reduces manual work by up to 80 percent, helping publishers improve and optimise trafficking workflows for direct sold and in-house campaigns. Our platform means publishers can finally manage newsletter inventory like they manage standard web display.

A publisher’s own campaigns can also be complemented by high quality advertising from Passendo’s own in-email advertising exchange to help publishers optimise newsletter revenue even further, with full publisher transparency and control.

Passendo only works with in-email inventory – the key advantage here being that the users opt-in to receive newsletters so are highly engaged and responsive. This unique inventory provides higher click and conversion rates generating even more newsletter revenue.


What is Pelcro? Everything you need to run your print and / or digital membership and subscription business. Pelcro’s dynamic paywall will allow publishers to choose between a free or paid registration, metered or premium paywall as well as who to target directly from their dashboard. Leverage out-of-the-box user flows for authentication, authorisation, payments, shipping, and more. Built with developers in mind; robust APIs and SDKs on web and mobile for ultimate flexibility.

Who uses Pelcro? Notable B2B and B2C clients around the world like Newsweek, Frieze, Business of data, and many more all rely on Pelcro to manage their print and digital subscriptions, free registration walls, paid memberships, and much more.

Why use Pelcro? Pelcro has helped clients increase subscriptions by more than 30%, decrease customer support requests by more than 80%, and increase gross revenue by more than 150x when launching payment strategies for the first time.


Subx is a completely visual, no-code AI marketing platform for membership, registration and subscription businesses.

Used by leading UK brands such as Time and Men’s Health, our advanced approach delivers AI-driven customer acquisition in days not months and requires no specialist resources. Marketing users can implement using proprietary ‘Design and Go’ AI that automatically builds the most engaging and best converting sequence of campaigns in real-time to scale customer acquisition faster for rapid results. By automatically orchestrating and coordinating the right acquisition journey for each customer based on their behaviour and where they are in the funnel, Subx removes the need for manual intervention and time consuming, costly and tedious data preparation and testing, to deliver more customers in less time.

Use out-of-the box design, checkout and access control features or integrate with your existing vendors to make the shift to AI in a fraction of the time of doing it in-house.

The Engine Shed

The Engine Shed provides comprehensive business management software solutions specifically developed for the needs of the magazine and periodical publisher. As the very first software-as-a-service provider in this industry in the UK, we understand the challenges of delivering remote-working capable systems better than anyone. We also know that no two publishing companies are the same: we offer solutions tailored to individual needs, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.

At the heart of our systems is a single customer view that transcends advertisers, digital and print subscribers, shoppers, prospect marketing activities and conference event management (whether online or face to face). Financial transactions are streamlined through the use of online payments and automated direct debit processing, improving cashflow.

Our custom management reporting capabilities offer ‘at a glance’ management dashboards summarising key indicators by business area.

Comprehensive APIs allow for integration with pre-existing systems: your data is available for any purpose.

This article was first published in InPublishing magazine. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list, please register here.