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 of their magazine marketing program. For every daily email newsletter and promotion they were starting from scratch each and every time, and they were all being saved as templates. You could say their backend was a bit of a mess, and while I’m sure the editor behind it knew exactly where everything was, that didn’t help the editor who came in when he moved on, to pick up where he left off.
Maybe you’ve heard of the famous Japanese professional organizer, Marie Kondo. Her book The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up, can be summarized in one paragraph. She writes, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
She says the best way to choose what you keep is to “take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
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Streamlining and organizing magazine marketing with email
If you’re looking in your email backend and it does not spark joy, if you find that it takes you more than 30 seconds to find something you need to promote your magazine, then it’s about time you use the Marie Kondo method and minimize.
One method to do this is to take a look at your magazine promotional campaigns for the last 12 months. Export the data into a CSV or Excel file, and then sort the campaigns by revenue generated. If you don’t have this data, sort them by click-through rate.
You might be wondering, “what about the open rate?” The answer is that open rates are a second-hand metric in this case. You want to know which emails, once opened, converted the most highly. Changing a subject line is easy, but re-writing a promotion is not!
So once you have your top list, organize them so you have the top 12 that have promoted your magazine. You now have in front of you, the top 12 magazine promotions that have generated the highest conversion rates. Why send anything else?
Now all you have to do is turn these into templates that you can recycle every 12 weeks (if you only send one magazine promotion per week). Now, after about 6 months, look at your email metrics again and find the email that converts the worst, and replace it with a new template. Repeat this cycle.
Starting from scratch with a 12-promo magazine cycle
If you’re not happy with the emails you’ve been producing so far and want to start from scratch with a new email strategy, that’s fine too.
As with any product you’ll ever have, if you want to sell it, you have to promote it. Even the most search-optimized landing page for a best-selling product that generates a ton of free traffic from search, can generate more revenue through email promotion.
Think about it, if your email list has 35,000 people on it, (or 100,000, or 500,000 or more), all you need is to hit “send” and a big chunk of those subscribers will see your magazine promotion. If you’ve been delivering them great content every day through email, they might be most inclined to pay for your magazine.
To get in the habit of doing exactly that, first, develop your spotlight email template.
In fact, develop twelve of them.
- A short one, straight to the point with a super-charged call to action.
- A long one, including bullet points about every benefit they get as a magazine subscriber, and many calls to action.
- One with video, featuring exclusive content only available to magazine subscribers.
- One with a large image above the fold that provokes the email subscriber to keep reading to the call to action.
- One that’s highly designed and has more images than text.
- One in the form of a plain-text email from the editor.
- One that polls them on their favorite content from your site (with a more subtle CTA for the magazine).
- One that includes a “once a year” offer on the rate.
- One that includes reader testimonials.
- One that includes a list of links to premium content that would be immediately available to them, if they signed up for your web edition.
- A free trial offer.
- A “bonus gift” offer.
Once you’ve created your twelve email templates, to satisfy a whole quarter, choose a day of the week, say Wednesday, and roll through them every twelve weeks.