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Archive for Audience Development Strategy

Audience Development Strategy posts focus on how to build a bigger online community by utilizing a number of different strategies. In this section you will find posts that combine multiple audience building techniques, blogging for audience development, descriptions of great audience development personnel and much more.

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Give it Away to Make More Money? You Don’t Say!

Why would you give away content for free, in order to make money? Sounds crazy, but that’s how the smartest publishers we know have grown at an exponential speed.
Selling magazine subscriptions is part of a four step process that begins with giving away free content.
By giving away free content, like eBooks, you can build new   Continue

How to Double and Triple Email Revenue in a Few Weeks

Improving email revenue? I certainly didn’t learn that one in school, and you probably didn’t either. In fact, in four years of journalism school, I never even had a single lesson in newspaper economics.

My professors were experienced reporters and editors, but none had ever figured out the business of publishing a newspaper. And none had ever met a payroll.   Continue

Social Media Marketing for Magazines: How Top Publishers Get Seen

Social media marketing for magazines has become an art form of sorts, and some publications are leading the pack
It’s 2018: If your magazine doesn’t have a social media presence by now, then you’re light years behind the competition. It used to be a struggle to get buy-in from the higher-ups and prove the value of   Continue

Double Your Email Capture Rate (ECR) to Boost Overall Revenue

Five steps to increase your email capture rate starting today
Converting website visitors into email subscribers is a key metric driver of your subscription website. If your Email Capture Rate (ECR) is 2% or lower, you should spend time trying to optimize your website, through disciplined testing.

For example, last year, one of our Gold Member clients   Continue

The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy: 12 Tweet Ideas That Future-Proof Your Content for 12 Months

When an article publishes on your website, how do you go about promoting it in social media?

When I pose this question to a room full of magazine editors from different publications, their answer is typically that they wait for the post to be published and then they promote it. If they’re super savvy, they might also schedule a Tweet (using Hootsuite or CoSchedule) a week later.

Valiant effort, for sure, but simply not enough.   Continue

How to Capture and Convert Web Visitors

ACEM doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but if you’ve been following along for awhile, you know this acronym is baked into everything we do here at Mequoda.   Continue

How to Attract 80% of Website Traffic Through Recycled Content

ACEM doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but if you’ve been following along for awhile, you know this acronym is baked into everything we do here at Mequoda.   Continue

Subscription Marketing: How to Write a Winning Offer-Driven Spotlight

How to write Spotlight emails that win your Six Sigma subscription marketing testing efforts
In the past we have reviewed how to use the concepts of Six Sigma in subscription marketing and testing and then creative offer testing for subscription pricing. We have shared the success that one of our Gold Members has experienced after launching a high-frequency   Continue

58 Online Copywriting Power Words & Phrases

If you’re an experienced direct response copywriter, you know that “you” is generally considered to be the most powerful single word, ranking right up there with free, new and save.

As direct marketing legend Herschell Gordon Lewis says in The Art of Writing Copy, “Unless the reader regards himself as the target of your message, benefit can’t exist. Benefit demands a ‘We/You’ relationship.”   Continue

Audience Development: Definition & Purpose

The true audience development definition requires maximum outreach while retaining results for future sales

Just like “inbound marketing” was the buzzword of the online marketing industry last year, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity. HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing”, which basically means bringing customers to you.

Last week we asked what is audience development? Just like “inbound marketing” has been a buzzword over the past few years, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity.

HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing,” which basically means bringing customers to you that are already in your niche, rather than sending out direct mail and going to trade shows, of which the methods are expensive and have a lower return on your investment.   Continue

Email, Web or Social – Which Should You Focus on Most?

If you think that your website should be the main driver of your revenue, think again. Email subscribers are responsible for between 60 and 80% of all digital revenue generation, while passing website visitors and social followers make up the balance.

Over and over again, we’ve found that passing website visitors don’t turn into buyers. They simply remain …   Continue

Audience Development vs Subscription Marketing: How Specializing Leads to More Revenue

Adam Smith, the father of economics, believed that economic progress was most possible by the division of labor into specialist groups. That an organization could be hugely more efficient by breaking down production processes into many small tasks, performed by specialists.   Continue

25 Email Design Best Practices for Publishers for Mobile and Desktop

It’s been reported that the average email users spends at average of 51 seconds on each email newsletter they read. If this average pertains to your market, you need to develop a way to maximize your email’s ability to connect with your audience.   Continue

Magazine SEO: What to Do When Google Tries to Sink Your Ship

Your magazine SEO efforts will determine how much traffic arrives and eventually converts into subscribers – what are you doing to find and plug any holes in your website?
Google is the business we all love to hate. If you run a big website, one of your jobs is magazine SEO for your website. There will   Continue

What is SMO? Develop Your Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is what we call the process of optimizing your content and your business, for social media.

Typically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes first. This is the process of creating content that has been optimized for some set of keywords that our target audience is looking for.
  Continue

The Mysterious UTM Code Explained

An Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) code is the way that businesses track sales from their origination point (like a tweet, email or a brochure) down the funnel to their conversion page. Every audience development campaign is packed with UTM codes to see which campaigns perform best. In Google Analytics, these codes can be tracked under the general “Traffic Sources” area just like any other source.   Continue

How Does Your Email Capture Rate Compare to Other Publishers?

Your email capture rate (ECR) is calculated by dividing the number of new email subscribers your website captures each month, by the number of unique new visitors passing through your website in a 30 day period. Your goal is to capture email contact permission from your website visitors by making generous offers that include free incentives.   Continue

Subscription Marketing Tip: How to Write a Library Preview That Converts

How to excel at subscription marketing with a web library by writing compelling copy
In the past, we have reviewed how to use the concepts of Six Sigma in subscription marketing and testing and then creative offer testing for subscription pricing.
We shared a story about one of our Gold Members who launched a high-frequency Six Sigma   Continue

5 Email Newsletter Best Practices You Can Fix Today

It’s amazing to see the evolution of the email newsletter – how brands use it to communicate, how the designs have changed over the years, and how the strategies of staying relevant have advanced.

Even though email newsletters have been around for years, they are still valuable for digital publishers. They are often a publisher’s largest source of revenue.   Continue

Subscription Marketing Techniques for Promoting the Benefits of Web Libraries and Collections

In theory, it should be very easy to use basic subscription marketing principles and write a direct mail campaign for content that already exists, rather than content that does not. But we find that copywriters don’t typically love to work that way.   Continue

The Best Audience Development Job Description We’ve Seen

Audience development personnel have a very specific, and incredibly important job within an organization.

Finding the right audience development staff can mean the difference between thousands of email subscribers and tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.

The best audience development job description I’ve ever seen comes from one of our clients.   Continue

Are Linkless Mentions Important for Publishers?

Should you be trying to acquire linkless mentions?
You may have heard the phrase “linkless mentions” rolling around in social media and your email inbox over the last year or so. The concept is explained exactly as it sounds: a linkless mention, also called linkless attribution or an implied link, is the mention of your brand   Continue

The 17 Best Email Subject Lines for Increasing Open Rates [+ Video]

Discover the carefully guarded source of the world’s most effective email subject lines that most professional copywriters don’t like to share   Continue

How to Write Better SEO Meta Descriptions in 2018

It was a very informative 2017 for all of us search-optimized publishers. Google has recently given us some insights into how they use seo meta descriptions within search results. Thanks to their monthly Google Webmaster Hangout Videos, Google has been pulling back the curtain and letting us know how and why they use meta descriptions. They’ve even given us some tips on how to write better meta descriptions. You may even be surprised to learn how meta descriptions are used as a ranking factor for search.   Continue

Subject Line Spam Trigger Words

Email subject lines are just one part of the email delivery equation. Emails are delivered to inboxes based on subject lines, content, and reputation. In some cases, engagement is even applied to this filter.   Continue

10 Ways to Improve Magazine Content Marketing

You probably remember the good old days when there was this thing called “article marketing.” It involved marketing your articles, most often by re-publishing them as guest posts on external sites in an effort to get inbound links, and also sharing them with other bloggers in the hope they might share or comment on the posts. At that time, the goal was to get the article shared, and to get the word out about your publication because those were still the early days of SEO.
Today it’s evolved into what we refer to as content marketing, and our focus has changed a little in that we want people to come to our site, not to other people’s sites. Sure, we might republish articles in repositories like Medium and LinkedIn, but it’s done deliberately and with SEO in mind, not just for the sake of republishing.   Continue

13 Examples of Professional Email Subject Lines

If you could, you’d hire a professional email subject line writer. You would, because you depend on your email list to sell magazine subscriptions or ads to advertisers, so smashing together 50-100 characters on the fly every day is a stinky approach to accomplishing those goals.   Continue

Content Marketing for Magazines: What Readers Want vs Google

If you’re not serving the needs of your readers and Google, then at least half of your content marketing efforts are failing.
When you publish content on your free website Portal, you have two major influencers taking note of your content. And whether or not you’re able to please them will determine how quickly your website   Continue

Mequoda 3C Zone Architecture Increases Email Capture Rates by 21X

Consistent channel conversion zone architecture (3c), when applied to a publishing website, is a fancy way of saying that every channel (or portal topic) consistently aligns with a product that converts the user into a subscriber or paid user of your website. Together, they create what we call a zone. Using this zone to increase website to email conversion rates can be easy, if you let it. This metric is called your email capture rate.   Continue

5 Ways to Test Floaters and Improve Email Capture Rates

Your floater, also referred to as a pop-up is most likely the most effective conversion element on your website. For most publishers we know who have floaters, they see 60% of email captures come through this element. And for those who launch them, they see a 20-50% lift in email capture rates right away.   Continue

The Reason Why a Rapid Conversion Landing Page Exists

A Rapid Conversion Landing Page (a.k.a. “name squeeze” page) is essential to building a database of free email newsletter subscribers. It, along with other landing pages on a website, act as the team that builds an email list. However, the RCLP is extra special in that its main purpose in life is to drive a ton of traffic from search in order to build your email list.
  Continue

The Only 3 Link-Building Strategies You Actually Need to Raise Domain Authority

Last week we talked about how to measure your domain authority, and this week I’d like to talk about how to improve it through link-building strategies.

A client of ours, when they first launched their Mequoda System, had a domain authority of 27, which is not a bad or unusual domain authority for a publisher, but when the scale is 0 – 100, you always want to get as close to the top as you can. However, soon after, they acquired and assimilated with a publisher who had a higher domain authority, which raised their score to 40 over the course of 18 months while they adopted and integrated the new content. The major change? A massive number of high domain authority inbound links that they inherited.   Continue

How to Measure Domain Authority and Improve it without PageRank

Link-building. It seems like that term is as old as the marketable internet. Since publishers have been developing content, we have known that we need traffic to our websites, and that inbound links are the way to do it. As Google came along and trained us on their search optimization best practices, link-building became even more important because it affects how we rank in search engines and we were able to measure domain authority along the way.   Continue

Emoji for Email: Should You Use Emojis in Subject Lines?

Have you been seeing emojis in subject lines lately? They’re not just the earrings of the inbox, they actually serve a purpose— increasing open rates! And since several of our clients have been testing them and seeing success, we figured it was about time to talk more about sending smiles 😀, poops 💩, and prayers 🙏🏻 in subject lines.   Continue

Publishers Driving Website Traffic Through Social Are Making Changes

Driving website traffic happens beyond Facebook in the world of social; Meredith launches brand for Facebook and hubs; Google outlines Flexible Sampling for publishers 
Driving website traffic is always on the mind of audience development managers. We’re seeing publishers acting in accordance with this notion, as they dive deeper into a variety of locations, including Facebook,   Continue

The Art of Writing Killer Inline Text Ads to Build Email Circulation

Although a text ad could refer to any ad consisting of text, we’re currently referring to those that are part of your conversion architecture. These ads are placed in the dead center of all your articles and invite your website visitors to download a free product that will get them on your email list.   Continue

6 Tools to Create Data-Driven Content Ideas

Consider the rise of talent shows on TV like America’s Got Talent and American Idol. When it comes down to it, they’re simply performing good old-fashioned market research. Why sign an unknown singer to a record label, or sign a new act to a Vegas casino, when you can see how the world responds to them first? The same method applies to content. Developing data-driven content ideas can be the difference between a homepage full of stimulating ideas, and a page full of templated headlines on the same topic.   Continue

Sell More Magazine Subscriptions Online Using the Mequoda Method

At Mequoda, we’ve crunched the numbers and discovered how beautifully email newsletters work to drive revenue. It’s not the traffic that comes to your site, which is the prevailing view among folks in all industries who jumped on the bandwagon early. Back in those days, it was all about impressions! Eyeballs on your page! After all, if they show up on your website, they’re bound to subscribe to your magazine, right?

Wrong.   Continue

Mequoda Rocket Awards: Top 10 Haven CXMS Systems of 2017

This year, our winner was Countryside Network, who launched their Mequoda System in February 2016. Countryside was founded in 1969 and today includes four farming-related magazines (Backyard Poultry, Countryside, Dairy Goat Journal and Sheep!) and a portal at CountrysideNetwork.com that spans all four niches.   Continue

5 Most Recent Google Changes That Have Affected Publishers

In the words of Heraclitus, “the only thing that is constant is change.” And working in publishing, you probably find this especially true. Google changes every day, and so do we. Certainly other professions have their own versions of change to deal with: mechanics had to cope with the switch to electric cars, and environmentalists have to hear climate change is fake news. We all have our struggles.   Continue

7 Ways to Create a Freemium That Attracts New Email Subscribers

Create a freemium by developing free content with free content – or write it yourself. Either way, make it good.
We’re all about the mighty freemium around here. Create content and give it away for free so that people know how good your premium content is – and they’ll buy it later. And they do.

We’re in   Continue

How Many External Links Should You Include in Articles?

In the book The Giving Tree, a young boy visits a tree and forms a relationship with it. At first he simply wants to swing on it’s branches, but as he gets older he becomes more materialistic. He asks the tree, which has grown fond of him, to turn its apples into money, it’s branches into a house, and its trunk into a boat. The tree obliges, but eventually becomes a stump.

If you’ve ever been on an external link regimen by your company, you might feeling like the stump in The Giving Tree after a lifetime of giving away apples and branches, trying to please. There is a lot of information about Google’s search signals online, and one of those, reported by SEO’s, is linking to external website. But are you giving away more than you’re getting?   Continue

The Paywall Model vs SEO: How to Win at Both

This week, a friend of mine referred to the paywall model as a “marketing method Trump would support.” I got a good chuckle out of it, but it seemed like an appropriate segway to the pros and cons of gating content, but also, how you can obtain the benefits of both – notably, SEO. Not the wall.

The paywall model isn’t an SEO-killer, even though it’s been billed as one. Technology has advanced a long way since the days when content was either locked, or unlocked. Firstly, there are two types, a hard paywall, and a soft paywall (and varying degrees in between).   Continue

15 Audience Development Strategies Most Publishers Avoid and Shouldn’t

It’s hard to determine how to spend both your time, and your resources within a business. The way we look at every decision you make is this:

Is whatever you’re thinking about doing, going to help you build an audience, improve capture rates, increase engagement rates, or monetize more visitors?

Your audience development efforts fall into three of those buckets, which means that audience development, in essence, makes up 75% of your overall publishing goals. If it doesn’t, then how will you have enough people to convert into customers and monetize?   Continue

Email Marketing for Publishers: How to Convert Email Subscribers into Buyers

We talk a lot about how to convert website visitors into subscribers when we discuss email marketing for publishers, but once someone is on your email list, what should you do with them? I’m sorry to say, there are lots of publishers out there with large lists who aren’t using them effectively. They don’t want to “sell” to their list, but the consequenc   Continue

Freebie Friday: A Complete Guide to Increasing Website Traffic for Free

This handbook takes you from the big picture of building an audience to the minute but critical details website architecture that helps you build email lists. You’ll learn how the most successful publishers optimize entire sites for Google, from picking keywords to writing optimized content.   Continue

How to Increase Your Viral Email Capture Rate: 3 Alternate List-Building Strategies

When building email circulation, by most accounts, email capture rate is a proxy metric. You’d be mistaken to say that it’s an exact metric because when we talk about email capture rate, we’re usually talking about the number of people who came to your site from search and social and hit the email capture conversion architecture.

But in reality, that’s only about half of the people who sign up for your email list.   Continue

Content Recycling: Staying Relevant and Dominating SEO

Content recycling—it’s all around us! At some point you’ve probably had dinner, maybe watched the news, and watched an early-evening episode of Big Bang Theory, or Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was on its normal station, maybe a different one, like TBS. Either way, this is just one way of experiencing content recycling, and TV watchers love it. They get to see their favorite TV shows more often, and even if they’ve already seen an episode, they watch anyway. Meanwhile, the TV station gets to produce ad revenue without going bankrupt attempting to produce a new TV show for every hour of the day.   Continue

How to Improve Engagement with Your Digital Magazine Editions

The one advantage magazines have over the majority of information on the internet is legitimacy due to credentials and facts. Let us not forget that nobody trusts what they read on the internet, especially not in the current blight of “fake news,” but they do more often trust established publications like magazines.   Continue

The Most Important SEO Factors of 2017?

Search Engine Land releases report on worthy SEO factors; Google reminds us of rules for putting links in large-scale audience development campaigns; Publisher fades in Google results after blocking Google users
It’s recommended to stay current with best-practice SEO if you want to rank organically in Google. Today we share news stories that look at these factors,   Continue