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The Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop

The Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop:

How to create, market and deliver magazines that Americans will buy, read and renew

Dear Colleague,

Twenty years from now, 2016 may be considered the year the magazine industry began to recover.

Conventional wisdom says that the magazine industry is in trouble: But in reality, there are publishers who have embraced the new digital media and are moving forward, confidently and profitably. No doubt you want to be among them … but you’re unsure how to proceed.

Certainly there are casualties – publishers who just couldn’t figure out how to approach the digital age. Yet there are also those who are now experiencing solid year-over-year growth, such as The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler and TIME.

Of course, those giants of publishing have vats of money to throw at the problem of declining revenues in the digital age. You, most likely, do not. But you know you’ve got the highest quality content and the domain expertise required to capitalize and dominate your niche.

So how do you go about navigating this maddeningly complex digital transition and avoid becoming those 21st century casualties you read about?

Mequoda has developed a proven, scalable digital publishing system that is perfect for established publishers seeking a path into the future.

We’ve worked with some of the big mega-publishers. But our system works best for niche publishers like you, because you have the agility and drive to execute the proven strategies that we’ve developed to bring independent publishers into the digital age.

We have a unique approach to the next generation of magazine publishing. We’ll teach it to you in a day. We’ve researched it, documented it, tested it in the marketplace, replicated it and scaled it.

It’s not proprietary. It’s a set of strategies that other publishers use in various combinations, but which we have used to create a digital publishing methodology that has proven unbeatable.

And if you attend our event, The Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop, for a single day, we’ll teach you everything we know about modern magazine publishing and marketing.

Our approach to digital publishing requires no proprietary software and can be readily adapted to publications of any size, age or audience. It allows you to keep up with an industry that is finally moving forward once again. And it is anchored by a new publishing approach and the knowledge that print is still viable, but must be accompanied by not just a digital magazine, but by both a web-based digital magazine and multiple app-based editions.

This triple platform strategy is becoming the new norm, because the one truism in the magazine industry today is that publishers must make their premium content available any time, anywhere, and on any platform that consumers want it.

Does this sound complicated? Prohibitively expensive? It doesn’t have to be. You simply need to learn the Mequoda Method and follow the steps we teach.

What will you learn at the Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop?

With nearly two decades of experience and hundreds of clients, we’ve been able to uncover the keys to actually succeeding in the new magazine era, which we’ll deliver to you during the course of this event.

After all, it’s an entirely new world out there and your brand should be much more than just a print magazine. The new “branded media” concept allows your editorial team to remain true to your magazine’s voice while customizing your content to multiple platforms such as email, web portals and social media. No longer does branding require deep pockets and TV advertising: Your niche brand will expand exponentially on these inexpensive new platforms.

“The team I worked with at Interweave successfully transitioned a leading print enthusiast media business into the digital age. The folks at Mequoda were an important part of this team and the company’s most valued strategic advisor. We could not have done it without them.”  Clay Hall, Former CEO Interweave

If that sounds good to you, read on. We’re about to make it logical and completely doable for any niche publisher. Here are the strategies we’ll share with you:

What American Magazine Readers Really Want to Buy

As the author of the nation’s largest multi-year magazine study, The Mequoda 2016 Magazine Media Study, we’ll show you that consumers still value print products, and for which types of magazines they specifically prefer it. You’ll hear about the attributes of app-based magazines that appeal to consumers. You’ll also learn that consumers are divided on which platform is valuable to them – underscoring the need for triple platform publishing. You even hear about trends in spending for both print and digital editions.

This data will drive your decision-making going forward and provide a foundation for every publisher at this event to understand how Americans view magazine media and their consumption preferences. You’ll use our study’s results in designing products consumers will buy, read and renew.

And if you have any questions about this data, the author of the study will be on hand to answer them, interpret the data in the context of their experience working with hundreds of magazine publishers, and help you understand what it all means and what you should do about it.

The Five Magazine Editions You Can and Should Create

You already know you need a digital edition of your magazine in order to make your content available when, where and how your readers want it. But did you realize that “digital” means different things to different people? It could mean that you must have an iPad, Kindle Fire and Google Play edition.

In addition, Mequoda has created something entirely new that you may not have heard of: the web edition. It’s the most flexible, most widely available, most promotable, deepest version of a magazine – and 95% publishers don’t have one yet. The remaining 5% (The Economist, Time, The New Yorker, and our clients Biblical Archaeology Review and Countryside among them) know it’s the most forward-thinking edition possible: built responsively and available on all devices, searchable, and the only edition in which you can directly promote specific articles from social media, search engines and email. We’ll discuss best practices for creating, delivering and marketing this edition.

We’ll also discuss how print media is still not only viable, but critical in a successful publishing system. Don’t forget, it’s not just about consumption but about distribution; without your print edition, you can’t keep your product legacy newsstand channels such as bookstores, grocery stores and specialty stores. Similarly, your three digital editions keep your brand in front of consumers on those platforms.

We’ll also discuss the attributes of each of these five editions, what makes each one special and how to market each one. Please believe me: It’s not as hard as it seems.

“We’ve used the Mequoda Method to sell thousands of books, videos, and subscriptions.” Sherman Hall, Managing Director, American Ceramic Society

The Prices, Offers and Incentives You Must Test Now

Pricing and marketing all these new and unfamiliar editions might seem a long way outside your comfort zone, but Mequoda can make it seem like child’s play.

You’re about to discover the keys to the pricing revolution! Our research and testing on dozens of brands proves that readers don’t want to choose one platform – they want it all. And with our tried and true contrast pricing strategy, you can make it simple for your customers to get it by choosing the all-in-one option, generating more orders, higher customer satisfaction and increased revenues.

We’ll also walk you through a 13-week test program built on the same strategies we’ve used to build direct mail campaigns for decades. By the end of this session, you’ll understand all the variables and offer construction that still work in the digital age: hard and soft offers, introductory pricing, auto renewal, payment gateways. You’ll also learn the best practices that are required in a world where credit card continuous service is becoming the norm. 

How to Run an Integrated Multiplatform Marketing Campaign

Yes, we’re a long way from the old direct marketing days. But that doesn’t mean a marketing campaign has to be complicated. First, using the offers we just discussed, we’ll discuss the radical differences between that old-fashioned direct mail marketing and the new email marketing, which allows us to promote a magazine 52 times a year instead of just two, four or six times.

We’ll discuss how magazine cover story selection can drive sales in these campaigns, and explore incentives, premiums, special issues and free reports – how all of these are used to drive orders in the digital age. And all of this comes with a very disciplined campaign framework based on a 13-week cycle so that marketing is literally managed with Six Sigma discipline. This approach allows you to run 52 campaigns efficiently, fights fatigue and maximizes overall circulation, revenues and retention rates. 

How to Upsell Print-Only Subscribers into More Expensive Digital Packages

The single biggest revenue opportunity available to publishers switching from print-only to a multi-edition magazine system for print, tablet and web editions lies in upselling your legacy subscribers into a multi-edition (or as we call it at Mequoda, multiplatform) package.

Based on the fundamental renewal principles that our executive team has used for decades, we’ve created an 18-effort postal and email renewal program in which we use offer, price, platform and incentives to maximize the number of customers that will choose to upgrade from being print-only postal renewals to multiplatform, continuous-service customers who now enjoy unlimited access to your premium content on all five platforms – and renewal mailing costs become obsolete!

You’ll get the same renewal program, upgraded for the digital era, that we introduced at TIME in 1995, and used at Computerworld, Modern Drummer, PC World, Consumer Reports and all of our highly successful niche publishing clients. You’ll learn exactly how to implement it and how to work smoothly with the leading fulfillment companies.

“We’ve used Mequoda Method principles, analytics and advice to more than double our revenues over the past three years.”   Stuart Hochwert Founder & CEO Prime Publishing

A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Making the Digital Transition

We know we’re proposing a significant change in the way you create, distribute and market your magazines. We know it sounds daunting – and we don’t recommend that publishers cherry-pick our strategies, or try to execute the Mequoda Method and our approach to digital publishing without the training we deliver in this workshop. So we’ll take all of the strategies you learned earlier and lay out a project timeline in which we identify all the milestones necessary for your transformation journey.

You’ll follow along through all the steps necessary for changing your production flow, and we’ll discuss how new bonus content like extra articles, videos and slideshows can be incorporated into your digital offerings.

We’ll also walk you through the process of becoming partners with Apple, Amazon and Google, how to select the right software, and how to troubleshoot the approval process.

You’ll even get a timeline for building a magazine website featuring all the features and functionality required for your profitable new system, accessible on all screen sizes and read in linear fashion. Everything from generating new issue announcements to promoting individual articles is included in this master schedule for your entire production, distribution and marketing programs.

12 Case Studies of Publishers Like You Who Have Blazed the Trail to Success

At end of the day, all of this theory is great – but we don’t stop there. You take home a list of 12 mentors you can follow as they execute this revolutionary publishing system every day, from Countryside to The Economist, from Loss Prevention to The Dark Report.

We’ll discuss the product offerings for both B2B and B2C publishers on our mentor list, studying their platforms via a multiplatform brand wheel, and discuss content strategy, audience development channels, pricing and revenue strategies.

All of our case studies will be live, cutting-edge mentors that you can follow after the program to use as a benchmark set for setting your own policies and for developing test ideas – so you won’t be left behind as the new magazine world continues to develop.

This is also a great opportunity for burning questions and drilling down into the way our examples apply to you.

“With more than 3.2 million monthly unique visitors, Mother Earth News has increased its revenues 39X over the past 10 years using strategies adapted from the Mequoda Method.”   - Bill Uhler, Publisher Ogden Publications

The Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop: August 2, 2016, Boston, MA

Remember, you’ll learn all of this in a single day. There’s no need for long hotel stays. There’s no wasted time. But my executive team and I will only be sharing these strategies on one day this year: August 2, 2016. Reservations for this one-day workshop that will change your business forever are now being taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

I urge you to register now, before all seats are filled.

As you know, the magazine industry is evolving at an enormously rapid rate. Learn the strategies that hundreds of publishers already know, and that thousands more will be embracing in the years to come.

Multiplatform magazine publishing is the future.

Will you be part of it?

I look forward to seeing you on August 2.

All the best for your success,


Don Nicholas
Founder & Chairman
Strategy Group Leader
Mequoda Group

PS: About Mequoda Systems: Since 1997, we’ve helped transformed more than 300 legacy media brands into successful multiplatform media brands. We look forward to helping you as well.

PPS: Remember, this industry-changing information will only be presented once this year, on August 2. Please register now to reserve your seat.