How to Take Advantage of the “Subscribe Without Read” Phenomena


Unsplash: Annie Spratt

First up, I am not so sure that any such phenomena exists or if it does, it will surely have a more elegant label.

In an attempt to define the phenomena:

In our subscription society and with the pressure (implicit or explicit) to be on top of breaking news, esteemed writers etc. it has never been harder in history to stay abreast of all things written, spoken or videoed that could make a difference to your business pursuits.

For that matter and most relevant to this post, it has never been more difficult for your clients and prospects.

Multiple Inputs, But What’s My Leverage

There is an amazing breadth of choice from HBR to YouTube to Medium to WSJ to…well the list is seemingly endless. Mix with this the rigorous production of peer reviewed research and we quickly see an ever-expanding shelf of choices.

It might also be fair to conclude that nobody can be across all and therein lies the opportunity.

If This Then Me (ITTM)

This is my playful label for an approach I take to create or retain attention and relevance with clients and prospects. It is no more complex that the following steps - I understand my:

  • Prospects’ key business priorities and their competitors’.
  • Deliverable capabilities and those of my competitors.
  • I consume content broadly and will stay alert to articles that have a connector potential for me with my prospect.
  • I use the content to base a direct communication upon.

This is an example of a portion of a recent email using the ITTM framework:

Hi Barry

Hope you are well and enjoying life in your Q4.

I was listening to the a16z podcast “The Rise of the Digital ‘Pill’” this morning and thought of some of the work you are doing, hence the share. In addition, I have provided:

  • Two relevant research summaries - is this the type of content that interests you? If not, please hone my field of attention.
  • In this episode of the a16z Podcast, CEO of Omada Health Sean Duffy and a16z bio fund general partner Vijay Pande (in conversation with Malinka Walaliyadde) discuss the potential of digital therapeutics which use software, design and other carefully orchestrated elements to change behavior.

I then go on to explain in a little detail why my experience is of benefit and that we should meet etc.

The Next Step

Whilst the example above is in the form that would be an email, I have been using video extensively for the last 12 months with great effect. By effect, I mean video has leveraged more senior executive access than any other form for me and it has largely been on the back of the ITTM model.

A note on video - keep it short and don’t over produce to the point where your personality is eradicated from the recording. There are many tools available and Screencast-O-Matic is an excellent entry product for screen capture along with your narration. A good microphone is important and the ATR-2100 USB is an excellent and affordable choice.