Subscription Website Publishing

How Free and Controlled-Circulation Magazines Are Using Haven WordPress CXMS

Back in the 1990s, many publishers distributed their controlled-circulation or free magazine as a download from their website or something they would send out as an attachment to an email. The PDF format made these new magazines easy to read on any device as long as the user had access to a PDF reader that most devices carried as part of their original software complement.

While the distribution of these magazines may have been substantial, the initial economic impact was negligible since most publishers did not attempt to charge their sponsors for the additional distribution generated by the PDF versions of their magazine.

But soon, digital magazine apps came to the forefront, followed what we consider to be true digital magazines, which are HTML web magazines: linear, finite, periodic, and display all the characteristics of a magazine regardless of platform.

Mequoda Systems empowers free and controlled-circulation magazine publishers to grow their audience, revenue, and profits by integrating web, email, and fulfillment systems into a seamless Customer Experience Management System (CXMS).


What’s a CXMS?

The modern customer experience management system typically includes dozens of components or subsystems. For a legacy business, many of these components already exist and must be integrated into a larger system that consolidates all content, customer information, and marketing programs into a single platform where data is shared in real-time.

To benefit not only the user, but also your team, a CXMS should intend to be the singular portal you use to manage publishing your free or controlled-circulation magazine, plus promotion and any products or payments. Instead of managing dozens of software components with multiple logins, users, and interfaces, a CXMS should provide your team with a singular user experience.

While each customer experience management system is unique, most stop at web, email, and social media as the primary platforms for marketing and communications. These platforms are highly cost-effective and relatively easy to integrate with each other. However, we think a true CXMS should proceed to connect other existing system components such as payment processing, customer service, and logistics. In total, a customer experience management system encompasses:

Database components

  • Customer databases
  • Content databases
  • Customer experience databases (UX databases)

Communication and gateway components

  • Web servers and gateways
  • Email servers and gateways
  • Social gateways
  • Advertising servers and networks

 Commerce and fulfillment components

  • Payment processing systems and gateways
  • Entitlement systems and gateways
  • Logistics systems and gateways
  • Customer service systems and gateways

Analytic components

  • Transaction tables and databases
  • Financial reports
  • Marketing reports
  • Management dashboards
  • Customer profiles

Haven WordPress CXMS for Controlled-Circulation Publishers

Mequoda clients who have controlled-circulation or free magazines routinely double, even triple, their profits in five years or less by using our proprietary software platform, Haven WordPress CXMS—the only customer experience management system created by publishers and for publishers.

If you publish controlled-circulation magazines and are looking to move into a fully integrated multiplatform digital sales strategy, our Haven WordPress CXMS is right for you—with all the standard system features plus state-of-the-art HTML web-magazine functionality to serve one or many magazine titles you might have. Market research demonstrates that users prefer web magazines over their application counterparts, based on the fully responsive nature of a web magazine.

Our Haven Gate Publications Manager delivers your online magazine with all the attributes users expect, including a dynamic table of contents, easy navigation from article to article, plus a complete cross-referenced back-issue archive that allows users to browse for content by topic instead of issue. Mequoda clients routinely use their web magazines to anchor native advertising programs that offer sponsors a fully integrated, state-of-the-art content-marketing program. Selling to sponsors has never been so easy when you deliver a value-rich native-advertising program using your Haven WordPress CXMS.

One of our publishing partners is a shining example of a Haven WordPress CXMS deployment with this functionality. They deliver a free magazine in print and through a responsive HTML web edition—all made possible with their Haven CXMS. Their wide multiplatform distribution is a major asset to sponsors who provide advertising revenue. Additional revenue is generated by producing sponsored content for select partners.

If you think you need custom CXMS development for your subscription business, think again!

We’ve already done it for you—and for dozens of other multiplatform publishers. And forget about hiring an agency to start from scratch—we’ll save you 80% of what you’d otherwise spend for a custom solution, because we already have custom CXMS development that’s specifically designed for subscription website publishers and that can be specialized for your needs, your products, and your brand. If you want to learn how we can help you do that, let’s chat.

What else would you like to know about building a CXMS for a free or controlled-circulation magazine?


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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