Creating digital magazines with a future-proof publishing strategy has never been harder
“I simply don’t understand the opportunity,” one veteran magazine publisher told me at a recent industry conference. “My magazines are sponsor-driven. My issue archive includes hundreds of back issues. I have all these vendors and partners offering to digitize my back issue archive and make it available online. But I don’t have a clue how I make any money if I do it. Near as I can figure, my digital magazine archive is worthless.”
Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study  for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.
Now, I do understand my colleague’s dilemma. Historically, she has sold advertising pages into an issue, published that issue, and sent invoices to her sponsors. The issue is now dead to her. Because her magazine has always been free to readers, she sees no market for back issue sales through retail partners that would generate meaningful revenues.
I do hesitate to prescribe free business advice to someone I have just met. In my experience, free consulting advice is often the same bad fit as a free pair of shoes. With that caveat, I’ll share with you now the list of revenue-generating ideas I shared with my colleague after knowing her for less than five minutes:
Four ways to monetize a free digital magazine archive
Brand building: Magazine issues are simply more impressive than HTML content. Because readers associate magazines with high quality, curated content, they will think better of your brand if they understand that the content on your website originated in a magazine format. The cost of putting a few years worth of back issues on your website is minimal, and the boost it will give your brand is more than enough reason to digitize at least a part of your back issue archive.
Traffic generation: Magazine subscription websites  with web magazines generate pages with unique URLs that can be indexed by the search engines if you allow it. With your digital magazine archives online and findable, your editors can create blog posts that reference and link to back issue content in a valuable way. More findable content almost always equals more website traffic. And even though you may not be making extra money on back issue page views, most digital magazine archive-generated arrivals will also produce cross readership of your current HTML content.
Lead generation: Even if you choose to make your back issue archives completely free in an web magazine library , creating HTML-based magazines can provide a reason for new users to visit your website and register for your email newsletters and free downloads. A visit to a digital magazine back issue is also a great opportunity to let users subscribe to notifications about future releases of issues.
Retail visibility: While it might not be worth creating digital magazine apps for the sole purpose of distributing them freely through Apple, Amazon, and Google, once you have created them it probably makes sense to add retail distribution of current and back issues to your audience development mix. You may choose to make your digital magazines available for free on these platforms, or to charge a nominal amount. Either way, you open up a new way for new customers to discover your brand.
Over the past two decades, we’ve guided more than 300 niche publishers through the process of transforming themselves from legacy print publishers into multiplatform operations that often dominate their industry niche and generate operating margins that surpass those created by their legacy print business. Learn more about how we can help you apply these strategies to your publishing business by scheduling a FREE consultation  today.
Join other senior publishing executives at the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop—where you’ll learn how to plan, execute, and optimize a profitable magazine-driven membership marketing system. And how to double your publishing revenue!
Secure your registration now, while seats are available and Early-Bird Registration is open.
May 20-21, 2020
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
This two-day membership marketing secrets workshop is intense—it’s not for the faint-of-heart, and it’s only for magazine publishing senior executives who have the vision and resources to grow their businesses.
This event is also for curious publishing executives who want the membership marketing secrets for publishers revealed—so that profits, growth, efficiency, and total transformation will power a magazine business that leads the industry and is the envy of competitors and collaborators alike.
You’re familiar with the growth and prominence of the emerging membership economy—you can see it daily as you interact with Amazon, Netflix, or even your local gym. And luckily, magazine publishers can learn a lot from others who have “paved the way” to condition consumers to buy memberships.
This is no fad, it’s a bona-fide trend that you should know about, understand, and latch on to membership marketing secrets for your own business’ purposes.
You should first know what isn’t a secret—having a metered paywall at your website. Yes, thanks to many news-oriented publishers, metered paywalls have become commonplace and are a powerful way to showcase your premium content and convert website visitors into buyers.
But having a metered paywall is not a secret. Who doesn’t know about metered paywalls or already have one for their content?
And simply having a website where you publish content is not the answer to staying competitive these days … let alone blowing your competition out of the water.
For that, you need to attend the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop ! You’ll not only learn about the membership marketing secrets, but you’ll also discover all the online publishing myths that often distract or derail many publishers from keeping their eyes on the prize—growth and profits!
When you attend the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop , you’ll be among the publishing industry’s elite—those who are ahead of the trends and will know exactly how to optimize your publishing efforts, based on the latest business intelligence. There will be plenty of time for networking, too, so you can get to know your fellow publishing professionals!
So that you don’t have to wait until our event, here’s a list of 7 membership marketing secrets:
- Web Magazine
- Web Magazine Library
- Curated Special Collections
- Leveraging Existing Content Platforms
- Content Previews
- Email Marketing Frameworks
- Landing and Offer Page Frameworks
And of course, much of the “secret” is not just having a list, but fully understanding what’s behind these secrets and learning what to do about them, so that your own publishing system is in alignment with all these secrets.
When you come to the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop, you’ll learn about all of these in detail—and you’ll learn how to plan, execute, measure, and optimize your very own magazine-driven membership marketing system.
I promise you this now, too—when you register and attend our event, you’ll get 3 bonus membership marketing secrets. And while my colleagues prefer me to hold these bonus secrets back until you register, I can tell you they involve growing your audience, growing customer engagement, and growing revenue.
You’re probably wondering how I can make the claim that you’ll double your revenue when you register for our Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop . Well, Mequoda has been around for more than 15 years—and we’ve helped many magazine publishers over that time, including Prime Publishing, Yankee Magazine and Hearst Magazines … and we’ve counted AAA Northeast and the Biblical Archaeology Society as clients (non-profit membership organizations that both have magazines!).
You’ll leave this event with a clearer vision and plan for transforming your magazine publishing business. Here is the agenda for the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop:
Wednesday, May 20
- Creating a New, Successful Membership Product
- 3 Ways to Build Your Audience Marketing Database
- Offer- & Price-Testing Strategies for Maximizing Revenue
- How to Organize and Outsource Your Business Processes
Thursday, May 21
- Building an Integrated Membership Marketing System
- 4 Key Metrics for Measuring Your Success
- Modeling and Budgeting Your Five-Year Plan
- 3 Bonus Membership Marketing Secrets Revealed
For a full description of all the sessions, click here to download your FREE Program Guide .
This entire membership marketing secrets event will be led by me, Kim Mateus, as Chief Strategy Officer at Mequoda Systems. In 2004, I started with Mequoda as employee #2, and have since overseen strategic planning for many of Mequoda’s publishing partners. Having guided the development of more than 20 subscription and membership marketing systems, my team and I monitor and maintain a robust best-practices database of marketing techniques and business processes that helps power all Mequoda partner marketing programs. My focus on client content strategies is a natural extension of my journalism education and background.
And here is a high-level summary of the entire Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop :
WHO: Besides senior executives like you from magazine publishing companies, the Mequoda Systems team who will join me at this membership marketing secrets event are veteran publishing professionals themselves—you’ll have plenty of time for networking with your fellow publishing executives and with the Mequoda Systems team:
- Don Nicholas, Chief Executive Officer
- Bill Dugan, Chief Copywriter
- Nancy Horan, Chief Systems Officer
- Eileen Shea, Content Marketing Director
- Norann Oleson, Analytics Director
WHEN: May 20-21 (it’s NEVER too early to sign up !)
WHERE: Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Plymouth, Massachusetts
For inn room reservations at preferential rates for our attendees, click here  or call 833-MIRBEAU (833-647-2328) for room reservations.
WHY: Because the magazine publishing world is fast-changing and keeping up with trends can be a full-time job—this membership marketing secrets event will help you focus on only the key initiatives that will help drive growth for your business.
For a full description of all the sessions, speakers, and the venue for this event, click here to download your FREE Program Guide .
I’d tell you to “mark your calendar” for this event, but if you only do that you might miss out—we only have a limited number of seats for this exclusive event, so sign up right now .
I hope to see you in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts, in May 2020!
Chief Strategy Officer, Mequoda Systems
Program Leader, Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop
P.S. If you already know that this event is for you, sign up right now  while seats are still available (this is a small event—we really only have space for a few dozen people). Register now for the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop !
P.P.S. Prefer not to wait until 2020 to benefit from all these membership marketing secrets? If you have a sizable team at your organization who should hear all about this, email me at email@example.com  and let’s chat about accelerating the process for you and bringing this membership marketing secrets workshop on-site at your company.