Whenever we work with a new publishing partner, there are four words they become familiar with very quickly.
Attract, Capture, Engage, Monetize.
For most publishers, the word monetize comes first in this sequence.
For the most successful publishers we know, it comes last. And because it comes last, the funnel of customers coming into their monetization efforts is more significant.
Before you can turn strangers into subscribers, you need more strangers. You need to put an enormous effort into attracting new visitors to your website. Think about your current conversion rates. Let’s say it’s 1% (that’s generous for most sites). How much more profitable would you be if you had 1,000,000 visitors coming to your website every month, versus 10,000 at that same conversion rate?
So now once you’ve attracted your 1,000,000 visitors every month, you could settle for a 1% conversion rate, but again, we push monetization to the end of the line. Instead, we’ll take a 2% capture rate. This is the average percentage you might see, of visitors who come to your website and convert into an email subscriber. Now instead of losing 99% of your traffic who may never return, you’ve captured 2% and can market yourself to them until they tell you not to.
So now that you’ve attracted a massive audience, and you’ve captured a good percentage of them, how can you expect to monetize them without first engaging them?
By sending regular editorial and promotional emails, and publishing high-quality content regularly, only then are you engaging enough to build a relationship with these once-strangers that are now happy email subscribers.
From there, you can finally monetize. You’ve built a big audience, brought them under your wing, showed them a sample of your content integrity, and now the “sell” is easy. They know you, your content, and what to expect from a relationship with you.
It sounds like a longer path, but it also builds long-term subscribers.
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