One of the many strategies Mequoda leverages for its clients on magazine editions is now available to all publishers
There’s no such thing as publishing a magazine.
The fact is, if you want to transition your business from the traditional print model to 21st-century publishing – and the profits it promises – you may have to publish up to five different magazine editions of every title in your portfolio, with three of the five being table stakes.
Mequoda has learned from decades of experience that having multiple platform editions is crucial to successful digital publishing. And many traditional print publishers have learned, to their sorrow, that digital publishing is crucial to their very survival in the modern age. We’ll tell you all about it at our Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 2 in Boston.
If that sounds alarming, we can assure you it’s completely achievable – more on that below. But first, let’s consider all five of those editions that we’ve identified as the very heart of our Gold Members’ publishing empires.
1. Print Edition
This goes without much explanation – it’s the traditional magazine business model. You can flip the paper pages with your fingers and breathe in that freshly printed ink smell as you read it. Although non-print magazines have grown in popularity, when we ask people why they prefer one platform over the other, those who choose print say it’s because they like holding a magazine in their hands, and many even mention the smell.
More than that, however, print has a purely practical benefit: There are still plenty of brick-and-mortar newsstands out there in the world, including bookstores, grocery stores and specialty stores, and you can’t afford to be absent from them. Besides, what better place is there to get the attention of your traditional print subscribers and brag about your fancy new magazine app?
2, 3 & 4. Digital App / Tablet Edition
This is the magazine edition that you read on your iPad, Kindle or other tablet-like device that was built natively for the device. It can still be held in your hands, but it can’t be paged through in a traditional sense. The “digital” in digital magazine also refers to the type of content offered. For example, ads may link to web pages (a great advantage to advertisers), and articles may include videos.
What’s more, there’s no such thing as a digital magazine app. Depending on your market, we could be recommending you publish across three different tablet platforms:
Apple is, for all practical purposes, responsible for the growth of digital magazine publishing itself since it brought the first tablet to market with the iPad. Now, they’ve phased out Apple Newsstand in favor of Apple News.
As for Amazon and its Kindle, it’s worth remembering that unlike iPad owners, who often buy the device for playing games or surfing the web, most Kindle owners buy their device specifically for reading. What’s more, Amazon customers are unusually loyal. For instance, Amazon Prime members have a 92% renewal rate and spend $1,500 per year.
Finally, while Google may be third on most publishers’ priority lists, Android devices are popular (don’t we all know several people who buy them and shun Apple like the plague?), and Mequoda is a believer in taking opportunities available to get a magazine in front of readers, whatever their electronic prejudices.
Above all, consider this: Apple, Amazon, and Google are three of the most widely-recognized brand names on the planet. Who would ignore any of that exposure for their product?
5. Web Edition
Even if you’ve already considered publishing not one but three tablet editions, you most likely have never given any thought to the most recent and most versatile edition: the web magazine edition. Web editions offer the best of both print and tablet / digital app editions: They’re linear, and can be read front to back, but they’re also connected to the web so that you can include video or advertiser links.
What’s more, it offers instant access to your digitized archive, or library, something that many readers find appealing – and which publishers can use to bundle with other products to make profitable contrast pricing possible.
Finally, the web edition is device neutral, so your subscribers can read it on their PC, laptop, phone or tablet, wherever and whenever they want. It’s responsive, searchable, and the only edition in which you can directly promote specific articles from social media, search engines and email.
But isn’t it prohibitively expensive and just plain hard to publish all of these editions?
As mentioned above, all of this sounds daunting to most traditional publishers. Visions of hiring binges and equipment outlay come immediately to mind, not to mention enormous costs in time and energy.
But none of that is required. Mequoda has learned how to transition print publishers to modern publishing powerhouses, and we help our Gold Members do it successfully all the time. We also teach our method to ambitious publishers, and we do it all in one day. This year we’re teaching our Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 2 in Boston, when my executive team and I will share all our strategies with you.
Because we teach it all in a single day, there’s no need for long hotel stays and no wasted time. Reservations for this one-day workshop that will change your business forever are now being taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here’s what you’ll learn at the Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop:
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
Here’s where you drill down into these editions discussed above and how to generate all of them without adding dozens of new staffers. We’ll discuss the attributes of each of these five editions in depth, what makes each one special and, of course, best practices for creating, delivering and marketing them.
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.
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 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.
You know that the magazine industry is evolving at an explosive rate, and that traditional publishers must keep up to thrive, or even survive. At the Digital Magazine Publishing Workshop on August 2, 2016, you’ll learn the strategies that hundreds of publishers already know, and that thousands more will be embracing in the years to come.
I urge you to register now, before all seats are filled. As much as we’d like to offer this workshop to more publishers, we just don’t have the time as we always put the needs of our 20+ Gold Member Organizations first – clients who have learned the Mequoda Method and value our help in implementing it for them.