How to Sell the Benefits of Digital Magazines and Multiplatform Bundles

Master the art of marketing digital magazines and bundles by learning about why readers subscribe to digital magazines

Several years ago we ran a study that showed us the majority of magazine consumers were subscribing to digital magazines because they felt paper magazines were wasteful and they wanted to “go green.” A full 52% of respondents said digital media’s lighter environmental impact was the main reason they subscribed to digital magazines. We were a little surprised at the high percentage among many other great benefits, but that number has evened out with other reasons over the years.

The last time we asked this question in a survey, in 2015, we asked respondents to say why they subscribe to digital magazines by ranking features on a five point scale from “Not Very Important” to “Very Important” and you’ll see that there are many more features now deemed very important.

  • Offers immediate delivery: 42%
  • Portable and easy to carry: 40%
  • Environmentally friendly: 40%
  • Cheaper than print: 39%
  • Thousands of titles to choose from: 34%
  • Offers a comprehensive archive: 26%

There are clear benefits for converting print subscribers into digital subscribers. The overhead for creating and delivering digital issues is much less, and you can sell higher-priced packages when you can offer subscribers an archive of past issues with their subscription. An archive has very little cost to update every time you release a new issue, but provides a huge bonus for subscribers.

However, in order to sell more digital subscriptions and convert subscribers into digital subscribers, you need to focus on the benefits to the readers. For most publishers, this includes selling a bundle that includes print, app, and web access. It’s easy to state the benefits using the above data:

  • Read the magazine on your favorite platform: print, tablet, or online.
  • Access content immediately online or on your tablet when new issues publish.
  • Bring your issues with you anywhere.
  • Save money by subscribing to our print+digital bundle.
  • Carry all of our titles in your pocket on your mobile device.
  • Gain immediate access to an archive with 30 years of back issues.

And if you’re selling digital-only subscriptions, you can add:

  • Save the environment by eliminating paper waste.

Examples of publishers selling multiplatform magazine bundles

The Economist does a great job at giving examples of how users might consume their digital bundle to spark their interest:

Whether you read each week’s copy of The Economist from cover to cover, scan the latest leaders on your smartphone, start your day with a shot of Espresso, listen to a special report at the gym or research a topic in our online archive – time with The Economist is always time well spent.

Yankee is able to offer three instantly downloadable gifts with their multiplatform bundle:

For the best value, combine your print subscription with one year of digital issues on your mobile device PLUS full HTML access to the web edition, including an archive going back to 2006 (that’s 10 years of the magazine, fully searchable, at no extra charge!).

PLUS, 3 Free Gifts!

You’ll have immediate access to three exclusive Special Issues of Yankee Magazine covering the best of New England: Winter Destinations , 25 Favorite Fall Recipes, and Made in New England!

Countryside combines both strategies with bonuses and short explanations of how each edition might be consumed differently:

For one great price, you can read Countryside magazine WHEN, WHERE and on WHATEVER DEVICE you choose! PLUS, your subscription will include 10 free Bonus issues!

  • Need to reference specific tips on organic gardening, food preservation, frugal living, raising small livestock, alternative energy, and more? Just pull up the web version on your phone.
  • Do you need to reference build-it-yourself and planning ideas for your homestead? Just enter our vast archive of past issues and pull up the article right in your own backyard!
  • Want to sit back in front of your fireplace after a productive day on your homestead with the print edition? No problem! Each beautiful full-color issue will come to your mailbox!

How are you marketing your digital magazine bundles? Leave a comment below.



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