IMAG ‘10 Coverage: Audience Development Best Practices

Interweave’s Bob Kaslik delivers 8 concrete best practices for building your email subscriber file

Bob Kaslik, VP Consumer Marketing at Interweave Press, opened up a panel Monday morning at the IMAG Conference in DC outlining his company’s audience development best practices. Kaslik shared very actionable items publishers could be using to build their audience and grow their email lists.

Kaslik says all of Interweave’s audience development activities perform across every market group and every market channel.

Interweave’s email newsletters are double opt-in, 5X per week (some more), and they all blend editorial content with promotional content. The intent of every newsletter is to sell product. The circulation levels on the lists range from 100K to 225K and the markets are knitting, crochet, beading, gems, jewelry, fiber and art.

Here are 8 ways they’ve built high-performing, double-opt in email files:

Keyword Clusters and Freemiums – Interweave manages about 20-25 keyword clusters (groups of keywords) for each of their community-based websites. Each keyword cluster will have freemiums associated with it. For example, KnittingDaily.com has a free pattern (freemium) that targets keyword phrases related to “knitting socks” which is one of their keyword clusters. This strategy attracts users to their precise interests and offers them a strong incentive to surrender their email address. It’s using organic search to attract targeted traffic, and using free downloads to drive that traffic to email conversion.

Floaters – They perform for Interweave, they really do! The key to effective floaters is in making the offer contextual. If a user is presented with a floater on a pattern of their interest, the floater becomes useful to the user.

Download a FREE copy of Best Email Subject Lines for Selling Premium Subscriptions and Memberships and discover an extensive list of email subject line frameworks that are consistently proven to sell and boost revenue for publishers.

PBS TV Shows – Interweave has 3 TV shows on PBS, all with the sole intention of driving website traffic. They extend their freemium strategy into the TV shows, so that viewers can go online to download patterns they’ve seen on TV. Kaslik says the conversion rates from TV are almost double the already healthy conversion rates they get site-wide.

3rd Party Sponsor Emails – Interweave will periodically partner with 3rd party sponsors, where the sponsor will send their list an offer for a free downloadable pattern from Knitting Daily. Kaslik says the cost per email address is extremely low and that sponsor emails have been much more effective for them than PPC.

3rd Party Reciprocal Emails – This is the classic barter of “you send to your list in exchange for us sending to our list”. This can be a very effective way of growing your email list. The key is finding partners that are extremely relevant to your audience and offering a free download as the offer. This solidifies your chance of higher conversion rates, resulting in more names added to your list.

Email Sign-ups on Product Order Pages – Use your own real estate to promote newsletter registration. For every magazine subscription order page, there are 1 – 3 contextual email newsletter signups. For Interweave Knits magazine, you would find pre-checked boxes for the Knitting Daily and Crochet Me email newsletters.

Combined List Promotions – Kaslik has combined all of their email names into one inclusive opt-in list and he sends promotions to it once per month. These emails cross promote sign-ups for all of their market segments.

Email Appends – Interweave has had great success with getting email addresses for their non-email based print file. Kaslik says the cost per name is less than .25 cents and they’ve experienced a 26% net match rate.

For more coverage of IMAG ’10:

IMAG ’10 Coverage: PixelMags Shows the Importance and Potential Behind Apps

IMAG ’10 Coverage: A Solid Product Idea and Several Tips from Ogden Publications

IMAG-MPA 2010 Conference Coverage

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