I will always remember the summer of 2006 for two reasons.
First, it will always be the summer between high school and college for my oldest son, Scott. There will be fond memories of his graduation, numerous celebrations, a family cruise from London to St. Petersburg, and his upcoming bittersweet move to Skidmore College.
Second, it will be the summer we launched Johns Hopkins Health Alerts. Of the hundreds of magazines, books, newsletters and websites I’ve helped create over the past 30 years, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts is the most significant—to me—for a number of reasons.
Without Our Health, We Truly Have Nothing
I turned 50 this past December. We were about halfway thru the process of designing, testing, writing and coding Johns Hopkins Health Alerts and the 29 marketing websites that surround it form the Johns Hopkins Health Network. Stuart Jordan, who is COO for Johns Hopkins Health Alerts and its parent, University Health Publishing, gave me a copy of the 704 page Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50 as a birthday gift—along with 50 lottery tickets. Over the past 23 years, Stuart and I have been friends, partners and cohorts in numerous endeavors. It was the first time Stuart and I had been able to work together on a major venture since the sale of Lighthouse in 1994. This alone made the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts project incredibly meaningful for me.
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Combine that with my sincere belief that the 13 free Johns Hopkins Health Alert email newsletters on Arthritis, Back Pain & Osteoporosis, Depression & Anxiety, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Healthy Living, Heart Health, Hypertension & Stroke, Lung Disorders, Memory, Nutrition & Weight Control, Prostate Disorders, and Vision will improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. There is no journalist project I’ve worked on in my 30 years in media that will do more good for more people. Being able to participate in a project like this at age 50 is why I decided to become a journalist at age 16.
Internet Marketing System Metrics Worth Living For
And finally, the launch and initial performance metrics for Johns Hopkins Health Alerts has dramatically raised the bar for all Mequoda Internet Marketing Systems—both those created by our design team and those studied by our research team. Every system metric—from the organic conversion rates used to measure new email subscriber acquisition to the revenue per M metric we use to measure the purchases made by Johns Hopkins Health Alerts subscribers—are well above any we’ve seen to date. There are many reasons that combine to cause this extraordinary performance:
- The Johns Hopkins Health Alerts system took more than a year to build, test and deploy which gave us the time to do it right including the development of any new system features and functionality.
- CEO Rodney Friedman, COO Stuart Jordan, Senior Editor Tom Dickey, Art Director Tim Jeffs, Marketing Director Tim O’Brien, Managing Editor Marjorie Lehman, Audience Development Director Joan Mullally and the entire Johns Hopkins publishing team have produced a treasure of free, meaningful, easy-to-understand content that is simply amazing.
- Our lead architect, Roxanne O’Connell, her team and the many usability lab volunteers who tested and retested the system have produced a network of websites that are crisp, clean, tightly integrated and very easy to use.
- The iProduction software engineers, led by Steve Laliberte, faithfully executed our design—building every new feature and function that the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts prototype required.
- And then there is the Johns Hopkins Medicine brand—powered by both the outstanding institution and the excellent 29 periodicals and books produced in cooperation with University Health Publishing.
About once a week, Stuart calls to give me an update on some other metric that has amazed him and amazes me. Hard work and good intentions do not always produce the desired result. For Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, they have produced results to date beyond any reasonable expectation. That is a rare experience to be cherished by all those who made it happen.
Good Karma for Scott
A little voice in my head hopes the cosmic timing portends well for my son Scott. I can only hope that his good intentions and hard work at college produce results as gratifying for him as the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts project has for me.