Now and then, Premium subscribers — the paying customers which, I have said time and again, make True possible — get a little miffed that they get the Honorary Unsubscribe after it’s published in the free edition. Frankly, shouldn’t they get it either exclusively, or at the very least first?
Each time I’ve responded to the complaint with a “that’s the way it is” dismissal, but the most recent one pushed me over the edge, so I put it out to the Premium readers, asking the entire population of them what they really thought about it.
Yes, Share — But…
There was a huge response; people care about the Honorary Unsubscribe, which has been a fixture in True for more than 11 years.
Since half the idea of the H.U. is to honor people that have made a difference in our lives but were mostly ignored, you’ll be happy to know the Premium readers were totally opposed to having the write-ups be exclusive to the much smaller Premium group. (Good: I would have probably felt it necessary to respond to that with an “ain’t gonna do it” dismissal….)
OK, then what? Before I tell you what I’ve decided to do, let me give you just a sample of the comments and suggestions from the Premium edition readers. Brady in Oregon:
You have a quality newsletter and there has to be something extra in it for those of us who are willing to pay. If you do [drop it from the free edition], I hope that it will help tip those who sit on the fence about upgrading.” Harry in California: “Drop the Honorary Unsubscribe from the free edition [even though] I really miss it when you don’t have time to included it. In any case, keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to raise your price a bit — This is True is worth it.
But that and the sampling of the reaction from a small subset of True‘s readership in the Comments below gives you an idea how strongly people feel about the H.U., and I appreciate that they took the time to write.
So here’s what I have decided: first, I’m not taking it away so free edition readers can’t see it anymore. That said, I now agree with the people who are paying the freight for this publication, and decided to “demote it slightly,” as Doug put it in the Comments.
They say there needs to be more reasons to be a Premium subscriber, which will certainly encourage more people to upgrade, which makes True possible in the first place. If you want the Honorary Unsubscribe delivered to you, you can get it in the Premium edition.
Therefore, starting this week, the H.U. will be written on Mondays for the Premium edition, instead of on Fridays. In the Friday free edition, I’ll tell the free edition readers who got the nod, and then link you to the web site copy.
Yeah, that’s a touch less convenient, but you do have the option of having it delivered. The H.U. is so important to you? Then support it, and the publication that carries it. Can’t afford it? No problem: it’s just a click or two away, for free. Best of both worlds.
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This page is an example of This is True’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. True is a newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition, and bring up questions about society — in an entertaining way. If you enjoyed this page, consider scrolling up to the top of the page for a free email subscription.
To really support True, sign up for a paid subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:
Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?
A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online, and this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.