Digital Magazine Publishing

Two Types of Magazine Ads You Can Bundle

There are two types of magazine ads that successful multiplatform publishers bundle into their multiplatform rate cards. Each item on the rate card has a value associated with it. Bought separately, they would add up and be quite expensive, but packages of the complete bundle (typically for 12 months, 6 months, or 3 months), allow the publisher to assign a steep multiplatform discount that brings the price down considerably. A steep package discount will help move the conversation away from the pricing of the individual elements since concerns about a particular rate will be far more than offset by the total package discount.

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This total package – which typically includes social media, channel sponsorship,  portal extras, email extras, and even directory listings or lead generation opportunities – meets the needs of sponsors who want to be part of the story, while preserving the best parts of the display advertising game they already know. For the publisher, selling packages allows for a more efficient sale (as opposed to selling many remnants), and helps make your best sponsors your true partners in your digital and print offerings.

The two types of magazine ads we think should come bundled in this multiplatform advertising package are:

  • Audited magazine display ads (print and qualifying digital editions)
  • Native magazine sponsored articles (non-audited circulation editions)

Audited Magazine Ads we refer to these as “audited edition” ads because they are ads that are counted by the auditing agencies. These include print and digital replica editions (PDFs, enhanced PDFs, and flipbook editions).

Web and print ads are always sold together for our magazine clients. At Mequoda we are big believers in print. Many consumers and business professionals still prefer print to any other edition, which is why it is still the most widely read edition of multiplatform magazines. And many publishers still generate more money from print than any other platform, either through ads or through a subscription.

That’s why a true multiplatform package will always contain a print ad component. In addition to the sponsored content and web channel exclusive ads, our sponsorship packages include a full-page print ad in the magazine. Sponsors who have spent time supporting your publication through print will continue to get the positive effects of print ads, and you’ll use this type of offer to leverage the online parts of the package.

Native Magazine Ads are sponsored articles. Consumers have always disliked ads that are disruptive to their user experience, which is why native advertisements are the user-friendly alternative to banner ads. While many advertisers are new to native advertisements, they’re completely old hat to legacy publishers.

The same piece of sponsored or native content you use in your portal and email extras will appear in full in the online versions of your publication. The sponsored email extra can push readers back to the online versions of your content which also exposes the user to the other great content you publish.

An excerpt in the daily email you send to portal subscribers will serve the same purpose: If someone has opted out of the sponsored content emails, or simply didn’t click on it, you provide a second bite at the apple by allowing them to access the content a different way.

At Mequoda, we believe the best sponsored content takes the same form and qualities as your original premium content. The content should provide value for the reader at the same time as it creates a positive perception of the sponsor. We live with one simple watch phrase that can help keep you out of trouble: Sponsored content should be something your publication would have published regardless of whether there was a sponsor.

Whether you’re selling sponsorships, subscriptions, memberships, or single purchases, it’s crucial to use pricing and packaging to maximize revenue and minimize the cost of sales. In a multiplatform environment where many of your products are digital and have virtually no marginal cost of delivery, understanding how to build packages and bundles that appeal to consumers and sponsors is essential to overall profitability and success. If that’s something you want to talk more about, let’s schedule a time to talk.

By Don Nicholas

Chief Executive Officer

During his decades long career, Don has worked with colleagues, clients and partners to design digital publishing and marketing systems for more than 300 magazines, newsletters, memberships, clubs, and events. Don currently serves as executive publisher for Cabot Wealth Network, Food Gardening Network, Financial Freedom Federation, I Like Crochet Network, I Like Knitting Network, and Recipe Lion Clubs. His team's Haven WordPress CXMS offers publishers the industry’s most flexible and robust online publishing and marketing platform. Don and his strategy team have served as management advisors for virtually every major niche publishing company in North America including Meredith, Hearst, Trusted Media Brands, and hundreds of independent for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He has managed and led educational events for MPA, SIPA, FIPP and Harvard University. He has authored numerous books and hundreds of articles on journalism, publishing, technology and marketing. Before founding Mequoda in 2004, he served as founder and chief executive officer for Blue Dolphin Magazines and Lighthouse Communications Group. He started his media career as a journalist and producer working for the Armed Forces Network aboard the USS Enterprise. Don holds degrees and certifications in organizational management, journalism and electrical engineering from Capella University, Sacramento State University, and the United States Navy.

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