I began using the name Analyst Ratings Network in early 2012 in order to differentiate our coverage of equities research (analyst ratings) from our general financial news that we publish on American Banking and Market News (americanbankingnews.com). When I selected the name, I tried to pick out something that had an available domain name and would adequately describe what my business did. I honestly don’t remember what other names I was considering at the time, but I landed on the name Analyst Ratings Network.
While this name has served us reasonably well for the last three years, it’s time for a change. The name “Analyst Ratings Network” is too long, too complicated and too hard to remember. It became apparent to me that Analyst Ratings Network is probably a bad name for a company when I asked many of my good friends what the name of my business is. Many of them couldn’t remember and others mangled the name. It also doesn’t help that the registered name of my company (American Consumer News, LLC) is different than the brand name I actually use (Analyst Ratings Network). Some people know the business as American Consumer News and others know it as Analyst Ratings Network.
I did a lot of brainstorming with business partners, friends and Analyst Ratings Network subscribers to identify a new name that would become on the future brand of Analyst Ratings Network. We wanted a name that would be simple, would be memorable and would communicate the mission of the company.
We’ve chosen MarketBeat.com as the new brand name for Analyst Ratings Network. In the world of print newspapers, a beat reporter provides informed and specialized reporting of a certain category of news (like sports or local politics). A beat reporter usually follows a regular route, talking to sources and gathering information to report on about their area of expertise. Since we’re committed to regularly reporting on real-time financial information and market data, the name MarketBeat.com is the perfect new brand name for Analyst Ratings Network.
While the name of our business is changing, the core mission hasn’t. MarketBeat.com will always work to make real-time financial information accessible to investors at all levels—from the retail investor with $1,000 in his trading account to executives at Wall Street’s megabanks (yes, some of them subscribe to our newsletter too!). MarketBeat.com will continue to offer the most comprehensive coverage of analysts’ upgrades, downgrades and new coverage on the web. Whether you’re looking for ratings, dividends, earnings, economic reports, insider trades, IPOs or stock splits, MarketBeat will continue to offer the objective information you need to analyze any stock.
It will take a while to fully switch everything over to the new name of the business. For the next couple of months, our customers will likely see both names on our website and in our emails. We’ll have to update our branding on our website, revamp our ad-campaigns, update the software that creates our daily newsletters, update all of our email campaigns and make a number of other changes you would never think of. Our goal is to be fully transitioned over to the new name by August 1st.
Another Big Announcement
I’m also happy to announce that there are now 210,000 people that have subscribed to our daily email newsletter, ARN Daily (soon to be MarketBeat Daily). It was just over three months ago that we hit the 150,000 mark. We’ve seen a significant increase in organic opt-ins because we’ve done a good job optimizing our opt-in mechanisms and because our web traffic has grown significantly in the last few months. In the last 30 days, our network of websites garnered a total of 3.7 million page views (according to Google Analytics).
We’ve also ramped up our paid acquisition efforts through co-registration advertising networks. We pay $2.00-$3.00 per email sign-up that comes from our advertising partners and end up making $7.00 off each sign-up over the course of two years, so it’s a no-brainer to continue to invest our profit back into co-registration advertising. We had previously maxed out the inventory available for this type of advertising, but recently started advertising on a major financial news site which will enable us to get as many as 10,000 new paid sign-ups per month. For comparison purposes, we get about 22,000 sign-ups on our websites each month organically.
At this point, I think we’ll be able to hit 350,000 subscribers by the end of the year. As we continue the grow, the challenge will be further optimizing our sales funnel and building systems to handle to emailing hundreds of thousands of subscribers each day. It’s a non-trivial task to email 100,000+ people a personalized newsletter over the course of a couple hours each day, but we’re up for the challenge.