Since the launch of BlueLena in early 2020, our pricing model has been a hybrid of platform licensing + a percentage share of new reader revenues. The purpose of this was to incorporate some performance basis into the pricing, but also to cover the sunk costs of technologies (and the experienced talent required to manage it) that we incur as part of our integrated audience management stack. 

As BlueLena has grown to now support over 180 news organizations, we have achieved economies of scale allowing us to gradually draw down the managed services revenue share from 10 percent, to 5 percent, and now eliminate it entirely, effective immediately. This development is a key pillar of our shared resource management philosophy, which allows us to invest in and deploy world-class technology affordably and at-scale for hundreds of independent media companies.

In an effort to simplify our pricing and return more of the reader revenue directly to newsrooms, we are very excited to announce this change. Our new tiered-pricing model is based on the number of active email contacts stored within the BlueLena CXA and includes three options for publishers:

  • Starter (Self-Service) which begins at $499 per month
  • Professional which begins at $999 per month
  • Premium which is a custom model that includes our full suite of partner solutions tailored to your unique requirements.

At BlueLena, we do not view strategy consulting as an extra add-on, but an integral part of our managed services. Along with our free migration and onboarding, all Professional and Premium plan clients enjoy our comprehensive new reader onboarding series, standard reader surveys, seasonal donor/member acquisition campaigns, a generous allocation of quarterly support hours, a dedicated customer success manager and four strategy review calls annually. This is all in addition to our fully-integrated audience management stack that includes onsite registration and newsletter signups, flexible payment processing and unlimited email send volume through our digital marketing automation platform.

Over the past year, BlueLena clients have combined to generate over $15M in annual reader revenues — a +30% rate of growth — with over 90% in the form of monthly recurring contributions. Our monthly churn rates are less than 2% — outperforming industry benchmarks. Many of these news organizations had no reader revenue model in place prior to joining the BlueLena community, including over a dozen new site launches. The impact of these efforts have provided not only a lifeline through the COVID-19 pandemic, but have delivered a new reliable revenue stream to help fund vital local journalism.

As we turn our attention to end-of-year fundraising, we are grateful for the opportunity to support some of the very best newsrooms across North America and play a role in their ongoing successes.

Daniel Williams, Founder | CEO