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Archive for Audience Development Strategy

Audience Development Strategy posts focus on how to build a bigger online community by utilizing a number of different strategies.

In this section you will find posts that combine multiple audience building techniques, blogging for audience development, descriptions of great audience development personnel and much more.

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What Is Audience Development?

Imagine you own a landscaping company. You cut lawns, trim shrubs, design landscapes and you even shovel in the winter.

Now imagine you throw a dinner party where your brother brings home his new girlfriend. This is the tenth girl in 10 years who has sat at your dinner table, so you assume that you may never see the lovely woman again who we’ll call Sarah.

After dinner, Sarah mentions that she just bought a house and the yard is just awful.

So there you are, with a potential customer in your house. What do you do?
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Quality Over Quantity: Why Magazine SEO Matters

There are 201,000 people searching for the term “apple pie recipes” every month, but that doesn’t mean you should break out the measuring cups and write about it, if your magazine is for car enthusiasts. But if you’re a magazine for diabetics, you could certainly write about “diabetic apple pie recipes” of which there are 140 people searching for the term every month. But why would you write to an audience of 140 when you could possibly collect the eyes of over two-hundred thousand?

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Social Media Marketing for Magazines: How Top Publishers Get Seen

Social media marketing for magazines has become an art form of sorts, and some publications are leading the pack
It’s 2017: If your magazine doesn’t have a social media presence by now, then you’re light years behind the competition. It used to be a struggle to get buy-in from the higher-ups and prove the value of   Continue

The Best Audience Development Job Description We’ve Seen

Audience development personnel have a very specific, and incredibly important job within an organization.

Finding the right audience development staff can mean the difference between thousands of email subscribers and tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.

The best audience development job description I’ve ever seen comes from one of our clients.   Continue

Freebie Friday: A Complete Guide to Increasing Website Traffic for Free

This handbook takes you from the big picture of building an audience to the minute but critical details website architecture that helps you build email lists. You’ll learn how the most successful publishers optimize entire sites for Google, from picking keywords to writing optimized content.   Continue

The Mysterious UTM Code Explained

An Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) code is the way that businesses track sales from their origination point (like a tweet, email or a brochure) down the funnel to their conversion page. Every audience development campaign is packed with UTM codes to see which campaigns perform best. In Google Analytics, these codes can be tracked under the general “Traffic Sources” area just like any other source.   Continue

10 Email Call To Action Ideas For Your Magazine Website

Most publishers are only using one or two of these email call to action ideas for building an email list to sell more magazines

Did you know that by pairing unproductive employees with productive employees, you can actually improve productivity overall?

Cornerstone OnDemand conducted a study of more than 2,000 tech company employees with a dataset of   Continue

What is SMO? Develop Your Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is what we call the process of optimizing your content and your business, for social media.

Typically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes first. This is the process of creating content that has been optimized for some set of keywords that our target audience is looking for.
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The 10 Best Content Marketing Podcasts for Editors and Magazine Marketers

How to become a better content marketer, editor, and writer by listening to these content marketing podcasts

The first time I knew people listened to podcasts in their free time was back in 2007-ish when I went to an event called PodCamp, and while it wasn’t solely focused on podcasting, there was an abundance of fans   Continue

How to Track and Increase Email Revenue

Increase email revenue by determining your ideal revenue per subscriber, and then using service journalism to keep them on a path toward monetization

A Mequoda online publishing and marketing system measures revenue produced by email newsletter subscribers differently from the way that print publishers have traditionally measured the lifetime value of a subscriber.

The revenue per email   Continue

The 3 Truths of Building a Magazine Audience

How to build a magazine audience by giving away more than you receive

The foundational principles of Buddhism teach you that life is suffering, and that to live a better life, you must learn how to be content with that. No sugar-coating, just “yes, you’re right, life is hard, now let’s get on with it, shall we?” By   Continue

25 Email Design Best Practices for Publishers for Mobile and Desktop

It’s been reported that the average email users spends at average of 51 seconds on each email newsletter they read. If this average pertains to your market, you need to develop a way to maximize your email’s ability to connect with your audience.   Continue

How Fake News is Making Real Publishers Look Good

Thanks to fake news, there’s a surge of interest in “real news” sites, which could turn the news industry around
We’ve written a bit about fake news lately. How Google is banning it, how Facebook is blocking it, and how it’s being blamed for the results of our presidential election. But one thing I find interesting   Continue

The 9 Best Places to Use Good Keywords in Articles

Choosing good keywords and using them correctly is more than a strategy, it’s a lifeline for your investment in content and can keep traffic flowing indefinitely.

When you’re in the business of content, search engine optimization isn’t just a hip thing to do, it’s a necessity. Think about how much time your team spends every day   Continue

3 Subject Line Templates That Boost Email Open Rates

Email copywriting is a fine art. You can spend hours writing an elaborate salesletter or in-depth article that never gets read, simply because someone threw a half-thought-out subject line on the email blast it’s encapsulated in.

Every email copywriter keeps an arsenal of subject lines that capture their attention in their own email inboxes. I have hundreds of email newsletters and promotions in a folder that I refer to time and time again.   Continue

How to Make SEO-Friendly Mobile Interstitial Ads

How to make highly converting Floaters, pop-ups and mobile interstitial ads SEO-friendly
As you probably know, earlier this month, Google told publishers everywhere that they would begin penalizing them for pop-ups and Floaters which interfere with content on mobile pages. They’ve also told us not to show OFIEs to mobile users, the little order flows that   Continue

The 17 Best Email Subject Lines for Increasing Open Rates [+ Video]

Discover the carefully guarded source of the world’s most effective email subject lines that most professional copywriters don’t like to share   Continue

How to Write a SEO-Friendly URL in 8 Steps

8 steps for writing and structuring a SEO-friendly URL that is easy to read by humans and search engines

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were so many types of URLs. Vanity URLs, which are short, simple URLs, are used in direct mail and other print promotions. They are meant to be easy to remember and are   Continue

How to Conduct an Interview: Questions and Strategies

Actionable audience development steps to make your next interview article filled with engaging content

Conducting interviews are a great way to produce content for your blog, website and publications. People love to hear from experts in your niche. It’s really a win-win situation. Your interviewee gets to share his or her expertise with your readers, and you get great content to publish. There are a few different ways to conduct and interview, and in this article I explore those ways and share some insights on how to make your next interview informative.   Continue

7 Audience Development Resolutions for 2017

Intent, alignment, and engagement take the stage in 2017 for audience development professionals

I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see how audience development changes in 2017. Over the last year I’ve seen content marketers in particular get aggressive with link building again. Not just through spam commenting (boo!) but also guest blogging (yay!)   Continue

13 Examples of Professional Email Subject Lines

If you could, you’d hire a professional email subject line writer. You would, because you depend on your email list to sell magazine subscriptions or ads to advertisers, so smashing together 50-100 characters on the fly every day is a stinky approach to accomplishing those goals.   Continue

10 Email Template Testing Ideas You Can Use Today

Improve open, click-through, and conversion rates with these email template testing ideas

Even our best-performing emails tend to drop in engagement rates over time. In fact, every time we change email templates we will typically see a boost in click-through rates. This reason is mostly based on something new and shiny appearing in people’s inboxes. Even   Continue

The 14 Best Words That Get People to Open Email

Last week I watched The Science of Email Marketing, hosted by an analytics nerd I admire, Dan Zarella over at Hubspot. In the webinar, he said bluntly, “I would rather have an email subscriber than a Twitter follower.” We’d like to think it’s because email subscribers respond better to promotions, but according to Dan’s presentation, email and Twitter are almost equal in terms of lead generation. Still, our Twitter followers are often fair weather friends.   Continue

Mequoda’s Top Audience Development Posts of 2016

Our top-read audience development posts of last year show an interest in subject lines and the power of email newsletters.
Despite the rise of social networks, most publishers we know still get the majority of their traffic from organic traffic and email. That’s why it’s no surprise that our most-read posts on the Mequoda Daily this   Continue

Social Media for Magazines: How to Build an Email List Out of Highly Engaged Users

Social media users are highly engaged – but if you want to master social media for magazines, you must approach each network differently

Most publishers we’ve talked to say social media isn’t a huge sales driver for them. Sure, they’ve made a few bucks here and there, but they’re not making Dell money or anything (Dell   Continue

Freemium Strategy: 10 Steps for Refreshing a Freemium During an SEO Slump

Search engine optimization is kind of a game, right? It’s an important game – a necessary one for any publisher – but mostly it’s just us trying to play by the rules while Google giggles and changes those rules whenever they like.

At Mequoda, we stress the importance of a freemium strategy. Freemiums are free downloadable products that sit on SEO’d pages that publishers give away in order to build their email lists. The freemiums are available to download on these SEO’d landing pages, which we call rapid conversion landing pages, or RCLPs for short. You’ve seen them around here, here, and here.   Continue

How to Promote Content on Unlikely Social Platforms

How to promote content on three tricky social platforms that publishers want to love

Every once in awhile one of our clients asks us how they can leverage platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest as a content marketing platform. All three are completely viable social platforms for a social media strategy, and none of them I   Continue

How to Be a Better Keyword Density Checker

Get more page one rankings in Google by being a better keyword density checker for your business

Our SEO process has several layers that starts with keyword research and ends with article marketing and an accompanying white paper. Somewhere in the middle of this process we take what we see as a great keyword and drop it into the article or landing page that we’re writing.   Continue

How Google’s Approach to Combating Fake News Could Affect Real Publishers

How will Google alter their algorithm to combat fake news in the future, and how will it affect the rest of us? 
I’m going to assume that you’re not one of those news sites that published fake news to garner clicks and ad revenue during the election.

But if you were, you probably made a heck of   Continue

The Art of Writing Killer Inline Text Ads to Build Email Circulation

Although a text ad could refer to any ad consisting of text, we’re currently referring to those that are part of your conversion architecture. These ads are placed in the dead center of all your articles and invite your website visitors to download a free product that will get them on your email list.   Continue

Are You Spending Your Audience Development Time in the Right Places?

How to listen to the data from your audience development efforts and move forward

The inability to see the forest for the trees means that the detail of leaves, pinecones and the immensity of trunks and height will deter you from seeing the blanket of green on a mountain, and the patterns that might enable to you find   Continue

Use Website Floaters to Increase Email Conversion Rates

Now that more than half of all Internet users block pop-ups and Google has banned them from use by PPC buyers, there are two more good reasons to drop this once effective website design technique and look for a better way to increase landing page conversion rates.   Continue

How Does Your Average Email Open Rate Compare?

Your average email open rate can only get better (with these tips)
The thing about metrics and the KPIs you track is that everyone needs a baseline. So while you can compare yourself to the rest of the publishing industry, the best thing to compare yourself to is yourself.

With that said, the average email open rate   Continue

The Anatomy of an OFIE: How Smart Publishers Collect Emails

If you’ve ever been to one of our events, or you just got dropped on your head when you landed on one of our articles, you’ve probably seen the acronym OFIE here and there.

Around here, using OFIE it in a sentence (pronounced OH FEE) is as common as saying the words “website” or “conversion”. Say it with me, OHHHHH FEEEEEEEE. Or you could spell it out… oh, eff, aye, eee!   Continue

How to Save Money By Focusing on Evergreen Content

If you teach editors to write evergreen content, you’ll have a larger, more useful catalog down the road.
A friend of mine works at MIT developing interactive online courses, and one thing that hangs heavily on his brain is how to make them evergreen. Because when you work with a team of academics and researchers, content   Continue

How to Make Accelerated Mobile Pages For Better SEO

As more users go mobile, these tips for making accelerated mobile pages will keep your posts at the top of search results
Page speed is at the top of everyone’s minds right now. In April of 2015, Google told publishers that mobile-friendliness would be considered a ranking signal. They even offered up a mobile-friendly guide and   Continue

The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy: 12 Tweet Ideas That Future-Proof Your Content for 12 Months

When an article publishes on your website, how do you go about promoting it in social media?

When I pose this question to a room full of magazine editors from different publications, their answer is typically that they wait for the post to be published and then they promote it. If they’re super savvy, they might also schedule a Tweet (using Hootsuite or CoSchedule) a week later.

Valiant effort, for sure, but simply not enough.   Continue

Social is Superficial: The Real Reasons Why Social Posts Aren’t Performing For You

Social posts with links need to be strong in three areas: image, article title, and description. If you nail the trifecta, your posts will get more reach, shares, and traffic.

An image is worth a thousand words, am I right? Consider how little a social post could be worth without an image, or worse, no image   Continue

35 Steps for Building an Email List With Freemiums

Call it what you want, but here at Mequoda we’ve assigned the title Rapid Conversion Landing Page to a landing page that collects an email address and offers a free product (freemium) in exchange. You’ve seen them around here, here, and here.

If you’ve read our blog before, attended one of our Intensives, or a Summit, you know we typically cut the syllables in half by affectionately calling it the RCLP most of the time.   Continue

How to Lift Your Freemium Conversion Rate With Freebies People Actually Want

If your freemium conversion rate is less than 2, you can use these resources to create better, more compelling and more clickable freebies.

Email is by far, the most profitable marketing channel most publishers use. So it’s no surprise that building an email list is one of the most important items on a publisher’s to-do list   Continue

The Reason Why a Rapid Conversion Landing Page Exists

A Rapid Conversion Landing Page (a.k.a. “name squeeze” page) is essential to building a database of free email newsletter subscribers. It, along with other landing pages on a website, act as the team that builds an email list. However, the RCLP is extra special in that its main purpose in life is to drive a ton of traffic from search in order to build your email list.
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The 7 Mequoda Audience Development Models

These audience development models create marketing-qualified leads through freemiums that build larger, more monetizable email lists

“Audience development” is one of those terms that many people instinctively understand, but usually underestimate. Although media professionals have worked with the term for years, most have not bothered to define all the things that go on when executing an   Continue

12 Ways to Convert Website Visitors into Email Subscribers

The very successful publishers that we always turn to when evaluating our best practices have used some or all of the following strategies to convert website visitors into email subscribers. Not to say that they don’t also use ample space on their website to sell new magazine subscribers, they’ve just also spent the time to build their website appropriately so that web to email conversion is a cinch.   Continue

How to Use Direct Mail as an Audience Development Channel

How to use direct mail campaigns as an audience development tool that builds email lists and primes email subscribers to become paying magazine subscribers

Direct mail is a traditional marketing channel for publishers, but it also has a lot of value for audience development. Although the ROI for direct mail will be lower than for some   Continue

Mequoda 3C Zone Architecture Increases Email Capture Rates by 21X

Consistent channel conversion zone architecture (3c), when applied to a publishing website, is a fancy way of saying that every channel (or blog topic) consistently aligns with a product that converts the user into a subscriber or paid user of your website. Together, they create what we call a zone. Using this zone to increase website to email conversion rates can be easy, if you let it. This metric is called your email capture rate.   Continue

How to Use Paid Advertising as an Audience Development Channel

Audience development is one of those terms that many people instinctively understand, but usually underestimate

Although media professionals have worked in audience development for years, most have not bothered to define all the things that go on when executing an audience development strategy.

And at its most basic, that’s what it is, isn’t it? It’s about building an audience for   Continue

Audience Development: Definition & Purpose

The true audience development definition requires maximum outreach while retaining results for future sales

Just like “inbound marketing” was the buzzword of the online marketing industry last year, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity. HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing”, which basically means bringing customers to you.

Last week we asked what is audience development? Just like “inbound marketing” has been a buzzword over the past few years, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity.

HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing,” which basically means bringing customers to you that are already in your niche, rather than sending out direct mail and going to trade shows, of which the methods are expensive and have a lower return on your investment.   Continue

Using Retail as an Audience Development Channel

Retail can be used to boost your audience development efforts, because newsstands come with their own marketplaces
There are seven major Audience Development models we have identified: search, social, syndication, email, retail, paid advertising, and direct mail. Today, I’m focusing primarily on retail, and using Green Gardens Network as an example. If you’re new to Mequoda, please   Continue

Email: The Single Most Important Audience Development Tool

Every successful niche publisher we know uses email as the central resource of their audience development toolbox

As you know, our clients are some of the most incredible before/after examples of niche publishers who have turned their businesses around when they went multiplatform. And there’s not a single Mequoda client without email as the core of   Continue

Syndication: An Audience Development Strategy Used Carefully

When syndication is used for audience development, magazine publishers should be wary of duplicate content
Publishers have a long history of building audiences around specific topics, or niches. But the internet economy changed the audience development model significantly. Many of the traditional practices still work, but the digital economy requires a more expansive, and agile, approach   Continue