When I interviewed Chris Kimball for Subscription Marketing in the late 90s, he told me an amazing thing about his business. At the time, he had 250,000 subscribers to Cook’s Illustrated. He also had 65,000 subscribers to the Cook’s Illustrated Annuals—the six issues plus an index in a hard cover binding.
When I inquired about how the magazine and annual buyers were different, Chris told me that the annual buyers were largely a subset of the magazine subscribers. I was impressed by his vision and by the fact the 25 percent of his subscribers were ready and willing to pay twice for the same content—repackaged into a reference tool.
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In 2006, Kimball has taken the concept of multi-platform publishing to a new height that was never imagined 10 years ago.
Powered by television, the Internet and a very effective database marketing system, Chris’s version of the Mequoda Internet Marketing System uses the same well-tested content to create a television show, DVDs, 2 magazines, email newsletters, 2 paid membership websites and a library of best selling cookbooks that will generate an estimated $46 million in sales for 2006.
I’m still impressed.
To get the full story on Chris Kimball and America’s Test Kitchen, check out the Mequoda Case Study on America’s Test Kitchen.