An email newsletter is a powerful digital marketing tool that provides valuable content to audience members. Most email newsletters provide products or advertising in additional to high-quality content. Most online publishers will ask audience members for permission to send them email newsletters, particularly due to laws and credibility reasons.
A few tests to prove which subject lines make for great open rates
Studies show that most people decide whether to open and read an email message based entirely on a quick glance at the sender’s address and the email subject line.
If you’re an email newsletter publisher or marketer, you have four tasks: You need to get your offer delivered, opened, read and converted. Continue
f there were just three things you could do today to increase your audience, revenue, and profits, what would they be?
In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda shares a strategy for each. Continue
Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.
But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.
When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it. Continue
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. Continue
“It’s more effective than direct mail and as effective as telephone – and so much less expensive.” That’s a quote from ClickZ’s latest report, Email and the Age of First-Person Marketing. While marketers were saying just three years ago that social would consume email, it’s proven to become even more powerful and celebrated during that time, especially in magazine marketing. A study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that “email campaigns conducted with house lists achieved an ROI of 30% to 32%, compared with 15% to 17% from social media, and 18% to 20% for direct mail using house lists.” Continue
In multiplatform marketing and social media, do you ever feel like the content you produce is making more money for other people, than for you? Think about it. 100 years ago, American songwriter, Victor Herbert sued a restaurant for playing his song on a piano without paying royalties for the song and formed a society, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to keep this from happening to other artists and publishers. Sure, plagiarism is one angle of what multiplatform publishers encounter when someone uses your content without permission, but what about the content you give away for free on other platforms? Continue
A Mequoda subscription website Portal generates value from both users and sponsors
Mequoda has guided the development of more than a 300 successful niche media websites on a wide variety of niche media topics. Our best practice is to pair a free subscription website Portal with any premium subscription business model like a magazine or newsletter.
When you charge Continue
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
“Do your job.”
Those are the famous words of New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, and the mantra of the whole team, who I imagine you already know just won their fifth Super Bowl in the greatest game of all time (no New England bias here, nope!)
If you have a magazine, you have a magazine subscription website. Most publishers don’t use the same definition as we do, because I don’t think most magazine subscription websites do their job. They exist, and they process payments, but they do very little to attract (provocative pricing), entice (great copy and packages), and keep subscribers happy (digital archives and access). Continue
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
If you’re not writing contextual email text ads, your magazine marketing and paid products aren’t selling as well as they could be.
Have you ever thrown a birthday party for your kid that was totally themed? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—you got this. There was pizza and ice cream (the Turtles’ favorite food combo). All the kids Continue
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
These days, when people talk about newsletter best practices, they’re usually referring to free email newsletters, used as a marketing tool to drive inbound traffic to websites. But because some of us are old-time journalists here at Mequoda, we also think fondly of paid newsletters, a classic journalistic form that survives today in the digital era. Continue
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
36 ways to build your Internet audience, revenue and profits while building your magazine circulation
There are five different ways to build a magazine audience. You can use free subscription offers, use efficient call to action placements, use time-tested brand-building techniques, email-building techniques and other types of traffic drivers.
Consider the offer
The offer is the most important Continue
How to promote a digital magazine online, offline, and everywhere in between
How do you usually promote a magazine? Afterall, subscription and newsstand sales are the keys to driving advertiser interest, so what are you doing to promote your print magazine?
Blow-in cards. Social Media. Newsstands. Direct mail and email renewal series. Subscription agents. The list goes on.
Now what Continue
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
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. Continue
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
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 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
Are people finding and clicking on your email call to action, or is your click-through rate dwindling?
The Dalai Lama said, “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” And if you want your customers to take an action, you must put the instructions in front of them. Otherwise, how Continue
What to look for in live event management software from Haven Nexus, to Bizzabo, CVent, EventBrite and Event Ready.
As publishers have struggled with print revenues during the last 10 years, many have turned to live events as an additional revenue stream. As a strategic extension of a publishing brand, events make a lot of sense. Continue
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
Do your magazine marketing promotions spark revenue? If they do, recycle them. If not, dispose of them.
A few years ago, a publisher came to us and during our initial conversations about email, we looked into their EMS backend and discovered that they were creating new email templates for every day of the week as part Continue
How to make the most of your magazine portal every day with the tools you have in front of you
Every magazine publisher should have a free portal. It’s the backbone of your operation. It’s the rhythm section of a jazz ensemble, the neutrals in a wardrobe, the clasp on your watch—it’s the core of your Continue
Sponsored email newsletters and podcasting provide additional advertising and affiliate revenue opportunities
Email newsletters have been in vogue for at least a decade (even while consumers kept denying it but continued to spend money through email efforts). However, podcasting had a little phase a few years ago before going quiet, and now it’s back with equal Continue
How to boost ad sales by building more benefit into your ad packages, rather than inflating single-platform circulation numbers
Maybe you’ve never lied on a resume, but according to CareerBuilder, 56% of hiring managers have caught applicants in lies. Maybe you’ve never cheated on a test, but according to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of “high-achieving” high Continue
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
So you want to know, how do online magazines generate revenue? The answer is clear: they go multiplatform.
If you’ve considered starting an online magazine, or are a legacy print magazine considering going digital, you’ve asked this question: How do online magazines generate revenue? And the answer is that the successful ones use a multiplatform approach. Continue
Publishers require a marketing automation system that works in tandem with a highly efficient content management system
In the last decade, marketing automation has become a hot topic for niche publishers. The term really refers to any software platform designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks to increase efficiency and reduce labor. Although this sounds simple enough, Continue
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
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.
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
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
No publisher can hope to have a successful subscription based website without getting the marketing right. So if you have, or plan to launch, one of our three subscription website business models – a portal, magazine website or newsletter website – it’s worth studying the winning strategies used by savvy publishers, including, of course, our own clients. Continue
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
Our friends at PubExec.com provide an online digital publishing forecast for next year; plus, what some magazines aren’t getting about Facebook
If there’s one thing we know about online digital publishing, it’s that the industry never stops changing for even a moment.
But we wouldn’t have it any other way, of course. And, yes, we definitely know Continue
At Mequoda, we’ve crunched the numbers and discovered how beautifully email newsletters work to drive revenue. It’s not the traffic that comes to your site, which is the prevailing view among folks in all industries who jumped on the bandwagon early. Back in those days, it was all about impressions! Eyeballs on your page! After all, if they show up on your website, they’re bound to subscribe to your magazine, right?
If you’re not bundling these three drastically underused sponsorship package add-ons, then you’re leaving money on the table
Multiplatform publishers are in a great position to sell sponsorship packages that combine traditional print ad placements, digital ad placements, and better opportunities for the sponsor to be part of the story through native advertising and lead generation.
Convince magazine advertisers to “invest” in your ads and native content, then show them the numbers.
If you’re a new magazine, or even just new to digital magazines, you already know if you’re primarily subscription-driven (subscribers pay you) or ad-driven (advertisers pay you), but we find that many publishers generate revenue from both sources.
In either case, Continue
Second-time magazine subscribers may turn out to be even more profitable than they were their first time around
Peter Drucker wrote, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
When you’re talking to someone face to face, there are signs you might notice. Someone who starts fidgeting might be socially anxious, while Continue
The digital media companies making magazine publishing news include GQ, Slate, Meredith, and more
We monitor magazine publishing news on your behalf because every day brings new big things in the industry, and because it helps us do a better job helping media companies like yours do a better job of producing more high-quality content.
And, hey, Continue
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. Continue
Quartz’s take on email newsletter publishing makes it a pivotal part of operation; plus, events key resurgence for B2B magazines
Email newsletter publishing might seem like an antiquated part of multiplatform publishing, but as we’ve shown – and told – time and time again, that notion could not be farther from the truth. Emails give you Continue
When it comes to content marketing, publishing executives know how valuable native advertising can be to their revenue stream. More and more, though, digital magazines are taking matters into their own hands and producing that branded content in house, adding staff and other resources to their operation in order grab a larger slice of the pie and future-proof their properties.
How we’re seeing a larger return on our marketing investment by recycling marketing campaigns across platforms
When I first started working at Mequoda almost 10 years ago, we wrote a lot of promotional copy. We sent several promotions per week, and each one was brand spanking new. For a company that was limited on resources at Continue
A couple weeks ago I attended an SEO conference called SearchLove hosted by Distilled. One of the speakers was Rand Fishkin, better known as the Wizard of Moz. At the very end of his presentation, completely off topic talked about the time he saw that Hubspot posted 49 articles in a week, and wondered if they’d ever determined that that was an optimal frequency for them.
01-content-planning-nailing-down-ideal-post-timing-and-frequencyLike most of us, especially in publishing, Hubspot was basically on the page that “more content = more traffic.” So Hubspot replied that they hadn’t measured it exactly, and asked if Moz wanted to do an experiment with them. At the time Moz was publishing 8 posts per week. Both cut their frequency in half and the results basically told Hubspot that they could afford to write less, but Moz should write a little more. Continue
A magazine sales letter full of content and detail works best for selling premium information products online. No matter how hard we try to make winners out of short sales letters (after all, they’re much less work!) we still see A/B split after A/B split show that longer magazine sales letters work best. Continue
Do you realize that a large percentage of your most loyal customers may only hear from you once a month, when you send them your magazine?
It seems like when you have customers who are paying to hear from you every month, they might be pretty easy to sell to again. If you just had a better way of reaching them … an email address perhaps.
What, you mean you have more than one product to sell?
Oh that’s right, you’re a publisher. Continue