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Tag: best practices

Strategy Spotlight with Don: How and When to Clean Your Email List

It’s not uncommon that when we talk to a group of niche publishing professionals, and we end up in a big discussion about cleaning your email lists.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains when to clean your list, and how to combat fears about selling a smaller list to advertisers.

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.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: The Case for Daily Emails

How often do you publish an email newsletter? Once a week? Twice? For our clients, many of them publish 5 to 7 days per week. Sound crazy?

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains why a daily email newsletter is the right path, and should be considered a service to your readers.

5 Email Newsletter Best Practices You Can Fix Today

It’s amazing to see the evolution of the email newsletter – how brands use it to communicate, how the designs have changed over the years, and how the strategies of staying relevant have advanced.

Even though email newsletters have been around for years, they are still valuable for digital publishers. They are often a publisher’s largest source of revenue.

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.

8 Fundamental Internet Revenue Models Publishers Use to Generate Online Advertising Dollars

Some helpful hints on generating revenue through online advertising

What comes to mind when you think about revenue models on the Internet? Is it a relatively new model that was designed specifically for the Internet? Or do you think of traditional business models that have transformed from the physical world to the digital world?

That may have been a trick question, but if you answered “both”, you are correct. The Internet offers an array of revenue models, which in turn have their own subsets of revenue-generating models. If this sounds complex now, just keep in mind that this all means revenue can be generated in many ways. As you read on the intricacies should become more understandable.

9 Guidelines for Content Aggregators Who Recycle the News

Aggregating great content is just as valuable as creating great content

Content aggregation is often given a bad name, because it’s often done incorrectly.

The best content aggregators approach the process as the valuable art form that it is. Content aggregators recognize the web is all about content aggregation, and their work allows users to reach new depths on the subject matter they care about.

We first wrote about content aggregation in 2011. At that time, he had been researching best practices for content aggregation and strategies content aggregators should avoid.

5 Ways Web Magazines are Better than Print Magazines

Don’t scoff—we truly believe that web magazines can be the ultimate platform for periodical content for most magazine publishing brands. The problem is that, as we’ve covered in prior weeks, most web magazines aren’t living up to their potential. We are very close to destroying magazines as a medium by the way our industry is transporting them to the web.

4 Ways to Benefit from an Engagement with Mequoda

You wouldn’t hire a lawn mower repairman to fix your car, so why do so many publishers seek the support and advice of consultants and web developers that have never worked in the publishing field? At Mequoda, we know content, and we know content marketing, because we’re a group of journalism veterans turned consultants and

Managing Open Source Software for Fun and Profit

When you go shopping for a new car, you’re generally limited to the inventory on the lot. You might want gullwing doors like a Delorean or a new Tesla, but you can’t get them on an Audi. You can choose your color and wait a few weeks for your vehicle to arrive from another dealership, but you can’t get racing stripes without a custom paint job somewhere else. It’s not that different when buying proprietary software for your website and content management system, so why do so many publishers still head in that direction?

How to Get a $35,000 Strategic Business Plan for Just $10,000

If your goal is to generate advertising and sponsorship revenue from a free newsletter or advisory service with a robust subscription and advertising website, the Mequoda Haven CXMS can do it, and has done it for many other publishers like you.

Web Magazine Worst Practices: Are Your Digital Strategies Dooming Your Magazine?

The magazine industry has lost their way.

It’s been a long time since the dawn of digital publishing and publishers bringing their content online, but at this point we hoped that the industry would catch on and be rigorously testing their digital products.

Unfortunately so much has stayed the same, and while many magazine publishers seem to be working towards putting together web magazines, most have failed, as we’ve explained in recent posts documenting our journey through more than 300 magazine websites and what they think are web magazines.

5 Best Practices in Digital Magazine App Publishing

Now that so many publishers are issuing digital editions, it’s time to take a look around and quantify some best practices that we’ve noted in researching apps and digital magazines.

First, let’s do some definitions. Terminology is changing daily, as it always does with new technology and new products, but for now we should at least attempt to clarify a few things. Some of these definitions come from outside Mequoda, but others are our own preferred definitions that serve to clarify some of the confusion in the industry right now. Your mileage may vary!

Scaling Marketing for a Growing Product Line

Multiplatform publishers have a lot more choices – and decisions – to make about marketing campaigns. It’s almost enough to make even a strong person run screaming for the nearest direct mail package designer, isn’t it? But you don’t have to surrender to the confusion – paralysis by analysis is not an option!

How Free Newsletters or Advisory Services Are Using Haven CXMS

If your goal is to generate advertising and sponsorship revenue from a free newsletter or advisory service with a robust subscription and advertising website, the Mequoda Haven CXMS can do it, and has done it for many other publishers like you.

How to Run a Roundtable Discussion

The steps to facilitating an effective roundtable discussion with roundtable discussion questions

Have you ever run a roundtable discussion?

Throughout my years in publishing, I’ve taken part in countless roundtables. During some, I was the facilitator and other times I was a participant.

Although there are many ways to direct them, my ideal approach to running roundtables focuses on the fundamental needs of the attendees.

3 Ways You Might Already Be Ahead in Publishing

One thing we’ve noticed about the most successful publishers we know is that they have three major things in common. And it has nothing to do with being a household name, a ton of charisma or a rampant following on social media.

5 Ways Your Web Magazine Design is Failing Your Readers

I have complete confidence in saying this: “your web magazine design is not very good.”

And why does this roll off the tongue so easily as such a blanket statement? Because we’re in the midst of a massive research study on the state of web magazines, and out of 300 of the top B2B and B2C magazines, only 13 had what we consider to be a best-practice web magazine. We were sure the study would encompass at least 100, but we’re currently on the hunt to fill that number out to at least 25 and are finding hope in—surprise—niche magazines.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: Build a “Smart Website” Smarter Than Your TV

When you think of a Smart TV, you think of one that’s connected to YouTube and Netflix and HBOGo all in one interface. If a TV can be so smart, why are so many websites, so dumb?

Our Mequoda Haven CXMS, is a “smart website” that is fully integrated. It knows when someone is a registered user and/or a paid subscriber. And something different will happen if you’re logged in, and if you’re not, and based on what you’ve purchased, it will try to sell you different products or upsell you. A smart website should only message you with ads that are based on data in your profile, and this is fundamental to maximizing advertising inventory.

How to Measure Domain Authority and Improve it without PageRank

Link-building. It seems like that term is as old as the marketable internet. Since publishers have been developing content, we have known that we need traffic to our websites, and that inbound links are the way to do it. As Google came along and trained us on their search optimization best practices, link-building became even more important because it affects how we rank in search engines and we were able to measure domain authority along the way.

The Ease of Content Marketing for Publishers

How lucky are we, as publishers, to live in the age of content marketing and search engines. While other marketers struggle to become adept at content creation, it’s already in our DNA.

Just add search engine optimization skills, great website architecture and a genuinely content-driven email publishing program, and publishers can literally make millions on the Internet.

How to Generate Additional Publishing Revenue Through Your Website Portal

As a publisher, you should make your website’s top goal to maximize your TOPX (Total Orders Per Ten Thousand) page views by making sure that every page on your website is ready to convert visitors into buyers and subscribers at any moment and increase publishing revenue.

Your Portal is the main page where you give away free articles and content. For many magazines, this is on their main domain, like TIME.com or People.com. If you’ve been following along with Mequoda you know that we advocate for every page on your Portal to have a set of best practice conversion architecture we call 3C Zone Architecture.

Protected: Executive Council Update: Get More Control Over Your Imports

If you are on an upgrade retainer, you probably already know about Ultra Subscriber Uploader because it you got this enhancement as part of your monthly expense. However if you haven’t, we’d like to introduce you to this massively enhanced bit of functionality.

Protected: Executive Council Update: Best Practice Blockbuster Management Improves GVI by 34%

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Publishers Driving Website Traffic Through Social Are Making Changes

Driving website traffic happens beyond Facebook in the world of social; Meredith launches brand for Facebook and hubs; Google outlines Flexible Sampling for publishers 
Driving website traffic is always on the mind of audience development managers. We’re seeing publishers acting in accordance with this notion, as they dive deeper into a variety of locations, including Facebook,

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.

Bringing Discipline to Chaos

Mequoda is a little unusual as an organization, people tend to feel puzzled about us. Are we a consultancy? Are we a developer? Most often this confusion becomes apparent when we meet one of two types of clients, described below.

Protected: Executive Council Update: Your Portal Revenue Scorecard

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The Advancement of Website Redesigns Includes New Strategies & Tools

Website redesigns come from Salon and ProPublica; Harvard Business Review utilizes new website tool
Content publishers who make website redesigns and try new tools as part of an evolving digital strategy show their prowess in advancing their brand online.

Today we’re looking at three publishers who have recently gone this route, and the reasons for doing so.

Learn how to create sales letter landing pages that sell when you download our FREE Landing Page Handbook.

Our

Mequoda Rocket Awards: Top 10 Haven CXMS Systems of 2017

This year, our winner was Countryside Network, who launched their Mequoda System in February 2016. Countryside was founded in 1969 and today includes four farming-related magazines (Backyard Poultry, Countryside, Dairy Goat Journal and Sheep!) and a portal at CountrysideNetwork.com that spans all four niches.

Protected: Executive Council Update: 9 Ideas Shared at the Mequoda Summit

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How To Find the Best CMS for a Magazine

The best CMS for a magazine should be built for publishers, not everyone else
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content management system. The best CMS for a magazine should be built with a publisher in mind. After all, you have a different business model than a software company, e-tailer, or a small business using

How Many External Links Should You Include in Articles?

In the book The Giving Tree, a young boy visits a tree and forms a relationship with it. At first he simply wants to swing on it’s branches, but as he gets older he becomes more materialistic. He asks the tree, which has grown fond of him, to turn its apples into money, it’s branches into a house, and its trunk into a boat. The tree obliges, but eventually becomes a stump.

If you’ve ever been on an external link regimen by your company, you might feeling like the stump in The Giving Tree after a lifetime of giving away apples and branches, trying to please. There is a lot of information about Google’s search signals online, and one of those, reported by SEO’s, is linking to external website. But are you giving away more than you’re getting?

15 Audience Development Strategies Most Publishers Avoid and Shouldn’t

It’s hard to determine how to spend both your time, and your resources within a business. The way we look at every decision you make is this:

Is whatever you’re thinking about doing, going to help you build an audience, improve capture rates, increase engagement rates, or monetize more visitors?

Your audience development efforts fall into three of those buckets, which means that audience development, in essence, makes up 75% of your overall publishing goals. If it doesn’t, then how will you have enough people to convert into customers and monetize?

Subject Line Spam Trigger Words

Email subject lines are just one part of the email delivery equation. Emails are delivered to inboxes based on subject lines, content, and reputation. In some cases, engagement is even applied to this filter.

An Encyclopedic Collection of Digital Publishing Strategy

If you’re a publishing professional, don’t wait a minute longer before downloading our best practice handbooks. They were carefully curated into what we think are the most comprehensive handbooks on the four most important digital publishing topics:

How to Use Six Sigma for Subscription Offer Testing

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving,” said David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising” the “Original Mad Man”.

Even our best performing clients—who publish on multiple platforms, run several subscription websites, and have helped define our pricing best practices—will see a drop in subscription sales when they stop testing. I told this to a client recently who went from having some of the highest conversion rates of our clients to having our worst performing rates, and we believe the culprit is a lack of subscription offer testing with new offers, like a 30-day free trial.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: 10 Things to Consider Before Your Next Magazine Website Redesign

very experience you’ve ever had building and rebuilding a magazine website typically begins with you explaining what you want, and then you telling a group of developers and designers what to fix. But when did you become an expert in digital publishing strategy and conversion architecture?

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains why most custom CMS development companies aren’t a good fit for publishers who need strategic help.

Email Marketing for Publishers: How to Convert Email Subscribers into Buyers

We talk a lot about how to convert website visitors into subscribers when we discuss email marketing for publishers, but once someone is on your email list, what should you do with them? I’m sorry to say, there are lots of publishers out there with large lists who aren’t using them effectively. They don’t want to “sell” to their list, but the consequenc

Protected: Executive Council Update: Six Sigma for Offer and Creative Testing

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Our 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook

Take this information to the bank … 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook & Handbook polled 3,241 U.S. adults with internet access and found that nearly 42% of them are reading digital magazines, up 13.8% from 2015.

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.

Content Recycling: Staying Relevant and Dominating SEO

Content recycling—it’s all around us! At some point you’ve probably had dinner, maybe watched the news, and watched an early-evening episode of Big Bang Theory, or Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was on its normal station, maybe a different one, like TBS. Either way, this is just one way of experiencing content recycling, and TV watchers love it. They get to see their favorite TV shows more often, and even if they’ve already seen an episode, they watch anyway. Meanwhile, the TV station gets to produce ad revenue without going bankrupt attempting to produce a new TV show for every hour of the day.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: 5 Goals Every Publisher Should Have in Mind

One thing we’ve noticed about the most successful publishers we know is that they have three major things in common. And it has nothing to do with being a household name, a ton of charisma or a rampant following on social media.

Best Digital Magazine Publishing Software You Can Use to Launch Your Digital Magazine

Digital magazine publishing software is important; which option are you using?

Publishers have been trying digital magazine publishing software during the last few years in hopes of creating the best digital products for their audiences. And like everything else in digital magazine land, digital magazine software has evolved at light speed since we made our initial recommendations in January.

Here’s our latest (opinionated) look at the magazine software landscape.

Email Footer Examples and Best Practices for Keeping Readers Happy

We developed the Email Newsletter Scorecard with our friend and email marketing expert Jeanne Jennings. Let’s look today at #9: the all-important footer. In addition to abiding by CAN SPAM laws, having a footer resonates with the email recipient because it gives them a way to communicate with your brand, manage their subscription or opt out of your list if they choose. Giving these options makes your email newsletter and email spotlights more reputable.

Readers have come to expect that they can find this information in the email footer template of your mailings.

The Rate of Change in Multiplatform Publishing is Accelerating

There’s a quote out there from Jonathan MacDonald I heard recently at an IMAG event that says, the rate of change you’re experiencing now represents the slowest rate of technological and societal change you are likely to experience in the rest of your life. So if you’re thinking that change in multiplatform publishing has been fast so far, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s accelerating!

Best Practice Updates in Website Conversion Architecture for Mobile & Desktop

Over the last 3-6 months desktop and mobile conversion best practices have changed in response to Google, who continues to challenge us in an effort to make the web a more pleasant place to search and learn.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then adversity is the father. And Google has given us some adverse conditions to work with as they try to accommodate the rise in mobile devices, and the rise in mobile traffic.

7 Golden Steps to Planning Successful Digital Magazine Editions

Ask yourself these seven questions before starting your journey towards digital magazine transformation
I’m going to go ahead and assume if you’re reading this, you have a print publication who is asking for siblings. You’re at the magazine store and it’s eying the “big brother” t-shirts and wondering when it’s getting playmates.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive

Protected: Executive Council Update: Mobile Conversion Architecture Best Practices

This week we’ll review our mobile best practices for collecting email addresses without ticking off the Google gods. Most of the adjustments we make to mobile conversion architecture is for Google’s benefit, but it also offers better usability for your users. Read below to see how to adjust your own website if you’ve seen conversion rates declining since January.