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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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Direct Website Traffic Stays Longer

According Talking New Media, “three months of data from comScore finds that readers that enter a news website directly spend about three times as long on that site as those that come via a search engine or though social media such as Facebook.”   Continue

Should You Care About Klout? The Many Twitter Personalities of Content Publishers

Clout is defined as, “influence or power, esp. in politics or business.” As in, “I knew he carried a lot of clout” or “her clout in the business world”.
Klout is a website that attempts to measure these things based on your social media profiles. The question is, should you care? If you’re not one of the top five publishers on Twitter, then perhaps.   Continue

Publishers Use Maps as Viral Content

Publishers are using maps as viral content for their social channels. Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton writes,”The sudden publisher interest in maps today makes sense, considering that — like top 10 lists and quizzes — maps are highly shareable. And the right kind of map can draw considerable viral attention back to publishers’ sites if executed correctly.”   Continue

Author Rank is Real & May Go Public Soon

While at SMX Expo, Googles head of search spam, the incomparable Matt Cutts confirmed that Google does has some form of Author Rank.   Continue

Better Homes & Gardens Use Photo Contests on Instagram to Drive Engagment

It’s fun to see publishers do fun things on social media. Better Homes & Gardens has been using photo contests on Instagram. They’ve found that they get the best engagement from their Instagram followers when they run these photo contests.   Continue

From 15 to 80,000 Likes in One Year: Why Facebook Loves Biblical Archaeology Review

The audience development story of consistently great content, loyal fans and a Facebook algorithm change that appreciates all the above

Over the past few months, several of our clients have seen tremendous growth in social media. While some businesses are complaining that their visibility has gone down since Facebook tinkered with their algorithm, these publishers have seen just the opposite.   Continue

InStyle Partners Again with Nine West to Create Accessories for Magazine Readers

InStyle knows how to partner with retail companies. Fab Sugar is reporting that InStyle is partnering again for the Nine West   Continue

Learning From Your Magazine Subscribers

Many publisher would think that getting the largest number of magazine subscribers would be the end game.   Continue

Google Tinkering with Search Engine Design

It seems like Google hasn’t really tinkered with their search engine design in a while, but Google search results pages (SERPs) are getting a big change soon.

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land writes that their team has been seeing an increase in font and layout experiments in Google’s SERPs.   Continue

Say It With Less Jargon: Adjusting Website Reading Level to Your True Audience

If you want to know one of the reasons why print has been uprooted by the web, blame readability.

Ever since we’ve been publishing magazines, newspapers and newsletters, the jargon and over-complication of simple sentences for artistic value has been out of hand.

Case in point. That sentence was written at a 16th grade level, when I could have said, “Publishers have been over-complicating simple sentences for a long time.” And that sentence was written at a 10th grade level. “Publishers have been writing too many words to explain simple problems for too long” brings it down to an 8.
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Google Authorship: SEO Benefits of Connecting Google+ to Your Blog

Google Authorship is Google’s new way of helping their algorithm figure out who is most credible on the web. Naturally, you need to have a Google+ profile in order to claim Google Authorship, but the perk is that you get a fancy little photo next to the articles you write, like so.   Continue

What Matt Cutts Taught Us About Guest Blogging for SEO

Yesterday I read Matt Cutts’ new blog post—The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO—that craftily puts guest blogging to bed, without truly banishing it forever. I know that many of our clients guest blog, so I wanted to just clear up how his response applies to you, the legacy publisher.   Continue

Top 10 Audience Development Strategy Posts of 2013

Audience development is a fundamental part of online publishing. Our top ten audience development strategy posts dive into search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and the website conversion architecture necessary for building an online audience. They were the most viewed posts in these categories that we published in 2013. Enjoy!
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SEO Campaign Management: How to Create and Promote a Freemium from Scratch

Search is the most fundamental element of content marketing. If you thought social media was the silver bullet, you were wrong. It’s at least a bronze bullet, but social media is just one stepping stone towards search optimization. More likes and tweets equal better rank. Better rank means you’ll keep getting website traffic to articles without even promoting them.   Continue

The Funny Thing About Landing Great Keywords for Audience Development

The funny thing about keywords is that you never know which ones are going to hit, but when they do, it’s an ongoing effort to keep them on top. You can spend hours researching a keyword with good search volume and low competition, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up on the first page of Google results. And if you don’t make page one, you might as well be invisible.   Continue

Ceramic Arts Daily Benefits from Social Audience Development

Every publisher has their own audience development strategies. In a Mequoda System, our three goals are to attract, retain and then monetize, which is done primarily through email. There are, of course, other ways of attracting new customers, like social media.   Continue

Video Email Marketing Drives 29% More Clicks

Adding video to email will increase your email marketing click through rates
Video has always been a part of Mequoda.

For years it was our twice-monthly webinars, which we’ve since uploaded (our retired ones) as blog posts. As I write this, we’re loading 15 new video modules into our digital training product, Mequoda Pro. In July, we added   Continue

A Surprising Promotional Email Template That Builds Email Circulation

If there’s one thing that Mequoda folks have in common, it’s a powerful promotional email template that we call the circulation-builder, or circ-builder.

As a publisher, you might assume that this email template is created to strengthen your print circulation, but it’s not.

The circ-builder was developed to boost your email circulation through word of mouth while retaining your loyal email subscribers. You promote a freemium, which offers substance to your email subscribers, and in return, they forward it along to their colleagues and friends. The recipients of that forward will arrive at the landing page for your freemium, and if all goes well, they’ll sign up for the freemium and your email list.   Continue

Why Branded Subject Lines May Decrease Email Open Rates

Removing your brand name from your subject line could boost open rates up to 18%

Back in 2007, MailChimp published the results of their top seven performing subject lines. Seventeen out of the top 20 email subject lines (with a 60%-87% open rate) included the company name. These were the top seven of all time. When   Continue

How to Use Social Media for Building Email Lists

Social media is not the enemy of email. In fact, it can be used to build email circulation.

Some might argue that email is more personal than social media because an email gets delivered to your inbox, whereas you need to log into Facebook or Twitter to read a message or post. I would. What can’t be argued is that email still proves to drive the highest profits and typically “touches” the most number of people per promotion.   Continue

Our 10 Most Popular Email Marketing Posts

This week we’re taking a blog-cation as we pack our bags for Boston and get ready to mingle with publishing professionals at the Mequoda Intensive. In the spirit of always refreshing good content, we decided that this week is all about our top tens.   Continue

Designing a Promotional Email: The Spotlight Template

Focus your copy and your customers will focus with you

At Mequoda, we call any promotional email that features a single product a Spotlight.

The idea behind this email is that the publisher is shining a spotlight on one product instead of trying to sell a bunch of things at one time. There are plenty of benefits to featuring one item, for example:   Continue

Chicago Magazine Turns Email Subscribers into VIPs

Make your email promotions sound exclusive and your readers won’t mind receiving them
Chicago Magazine caters to the upper crust crowd of Chicagoans. The average print subscriber is a female, aged 25-54, a college graduate in a managerial position with a household income of $255k and a net worth of $1,518,800. She also owns a house in Chicago worth around $548k. Online subscribers are similar, but slightly less affluent ($112k median household income) and are slightly more likely to be male (53%) than female (47%).   Continue

Using Content to Drive your Audience Development Plan

How recycling, repurposing, and repackaging content can create alignment in your marketing efforts

The number of steps required to create an effective audience development plan often confuses people new to organic content marketing. One of my favorite tricks is to use the acronym ARM to help people remember that there are three distinct elements or parts in a content driven audience development plan. A is for attract; R is for retain, and M is always for monetize.
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The Business of Email Ads: Designing an Ad-Driven Email

Although a large percentage of the publishers we work with generate revenue by selling products, we work with many who generate their revenue either through ads, or through a product / ad mix.

When we design email templates for our clients, there are three different ways we’d design a daily email depending on which way they’re making money.   Continue

Black Belt Email: As Disciplined as a Winning Athlete

This week I had the pleasure of spying on one of our best Mequoda operators, Black Belt. Over the last few months I’ve been peeking in on a variety of publishers with large email circulation numbers to see where they excel.

If you’re not familiar, Black Belt has been published since 1961 and features interviews, historical research and news coverage on martial artists and martial arts techniques. On their website, Black Belt Daily, they feature this content in addition to a giant archive of martial arts instruction and videos which they also sell in the form of handbooks and DVDs.   Continue

Revealed: The Mother Earth News Trifecta of Email Success

It’s no wonder Mother Earth News saw a 70x increase in revenues with enlightened email tactics in design, strategy and community   Continue

Use the Snippet Email Layout to Drive More Traffic

Different strokes for different folks, and different email layouts for different business models

What is the intention of your email newsletter? You spend a lot of time and effort trying to collect these email addresses, so certainly your email newsletter needs a defined business goal.   Continue

The Economist Turns Email Clicks into Digital Subscriptions

In my recent escapades of combing through the email calendars of publishers large and small, I’ve discovered a few secrets about the brands I’ve been spying on. The biggest secret of all is that rarely do any of them stick to a systematic system of email publishing.

Typically all of our emails are written, edited and scheduled to go out on Friday the week before. We publish at 10am Eastern when we publish editorial emails (Monday – Thursday) and 2pm when we publish promotional emails. Sometimes we switch it up to test out which times work best, but overall it’s fairly consistent.   Continue

How to Create a Blockbuster SEO Article

5 tips for writing and titling blockbuster SEO articles that will generate more Google visibility

A blockbuster SEO article is a post that will show up in the first three pages of Google, preferably page-one, and remain there for an extended amount of time.

Blockbuster SEO articles do not happen by chance. Although, I suppose if you gave a monkey a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, like the theorem states, it would be able to produce such a post, but it wouldn’t be done in a time efficient manner.   Continue

Savvy Email Segmentation Wins at New York Magazine

New York magazine has become one of our favorites around here. And not just because their iPad app is one of the more innovative ones we’ve seen, but also because we keep watching them innovate.

Lately we’ve been analyzing the email calendars of our favorite magazine brands to discover any trends in consistency timing and promotional efforts. We decided to do New York this week because they have a robust editorial calendar, and until I started this case study, I didn’t realize just how robust, or how smart.   Continue

An Email Calendar That Re-Uses Magazine Content to Sell Magazines

Knitting Daily, a crafting website that anchors Interweave Knits, is a Mequoda best-practice website. Over the next few months I’ll be analyzing the editorial calendars of publishers, and given that the folks at Interweave have always been our golden children, we decided to start with them.

On KnittingDaily.com, a user is given unlimited opportunities to sign up for an email newsletter. The homepage has a floater upon first entry that offers a free eBook like Knitting Daily’s Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting.

However, if the user decided to close the floater, they’d also get an OFIE at the top of the page that collects the reader’s email address, in this case, Knitting Instructions for Knitting Accessories: 7 Free Patterns.   Continue

Email News: Email Marketing Statistics & Lessons from Non-Publishers

Would you like to see an increase of 700% in your monthly email marketing statistics?

Email is an interesting medium that’s used differently by an array of businesses. I’ve worked with email marketing and newsletter creation for publishers and non-publishers, for-profit companies and non-profits. Although there is certain overlap, many companies do it differently and still find success. The key is to focus on your email marketing statistics, listen to your audience, and provide the best email marketing pieces and email newsletters.   Continue

Email News: The Best Email Design Relates to Your Overall Email Strategy

When someone discusses the components of the best email design, what do you think about? Is it the physical look of the email newsletter or marketing piece? Or does it go beyond the look?

Top email marketers look at the whole picture before defining the best email design. They consider their own list growth, the competition, metrics behind mailings, the physical aspect of email and all distribution requirements.   Continue

The Truth About Using Hero Shots in Email Newsletters

As humans, we are drawn to shiny things. You can have a 200-page book, but when you add pictures, examples and visual case studies to a page, you’re keeping the readers’ attention for longer, while they examine the image.

The same goes when you are selling a product. Someone recently asked us in our members-only Mequoda Pro Q&A forum:

“How important is it to have a product picture in your marketing emails?”

Let’s start by answering a question with a question.   Continue

Tablet Study Shows 62% Read Email Daily on Their Tablets

Everybody checks their email daily. I’m one of those millennials that stereotypically uses my phone as an alarm clock and checks my email before I even roll back the blankets and crawl out of bed in the morning. Personally, I find urgent morning emails a great incentive to wake up!
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Create a Calendar for Better Email Marketing Management

Organize email marketing campaigns by creating an editorial and promotional calendar that keeps editors on track and in line with email revenue goals   Continue

21 Tips for Improving Email Deliverability [+Video]

If an email gets sent to an inbox and lands in the junkbox, does it make a sound?

Emails not getting delivered once in a while is typically an anomaly, but…

Have you ever sent an email that ticked off an inbox or two (thousand), sending it careening down the dark hole that drops your email into   Continue

30 Go-To Email Copywriting Tips [+ Video]

There are a few places you can make really good, or really bad first and last impressions in your email copywriting. Get these right and you’ll build loyalty from the start and get those subscribers to stay with you longer.   Continue

41 Ways to Build Email Circulation Forever [+ Video]

You can build email circulation over forty different ways, and we’ve got all the case studies to prove it! If you’re subscribed to our email newsletter, then you’re living proof that the tips I’m about to share actually work. One of them even worked on you   Continue

The Top 20 Topics in Search & How to Use Them for Good

Don thought it would be fun to write a post that “explains our methodology for quantifying an uber market.”

Do you know what that means? To quantify an uber market?

Thankfully I know enough to write this post, but I’m fairly sure that 99% of you out there don’t. And that the remaining 1% is probably exclusive to Mequoda employees and our Board of Directors.   Continue

The Email Copywriter of the Future will Write for Readers on the Run

Now’s the time to plan for tablet and smartphone email platforms

Just when you thought you’d mastered all the new copywriting techniques demanded by the 21st century … mobile devices are about to shake up your world.

When I have my email copywriter hat on, I enjoy the opportunity to flex my marketing writing muscles without the constraints of SEO copywriting. And like any good email copywriter, I’ve learned to focus on specific best practices, including …   Continue

Turn Editors into Expert Keyword Analyzers

“Oh great, one more thing to do,” thinks every editor you’ve ever approached about search engine optimization.

Because of this common adverse reaction, it’s important to emphasize the longevity of articles when they’ve been search optimized.   Continue

Persuasive Online Copywriting: Which Headlines Work Best?

Write less but create powerful headlines

Which of the following headlines do you think will perform better?   Continue

What’s New in Recent Email Marketing Research

As online professionals, we spend a lot of our time testing, researching and applying new strategies to create “best practices”. Sometimes these practices apply to everyone and sometimes they just apply to us. It’s the “testing” part of it that’s so crucial to determine which is which.   Continue

Creating Good Blog Names is as Simple as Picking the Best Keyword Phrase

Best blog names contain a keyword phrase

One of the huge advantages of creating a new portal brand is having the chance to pick the name with SEO in mind.

This is our absolute favorite strategy for naming blogs and portals. In this principle strategy for choosing the best blog name we take your uber phrase and put the word “daily” behind it.   Continue

As an Online Copywriter, Your Job is to Meet Dueling Demands

Blending compelling copy with keyword strategy takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.

Online copywriting has made it necessary for us, ah, mature copywriters to update our existing skills to meet new demands. And even if you’re a digital native who learned online copywriting right off the bat, the strategies for creating copy that’s both persuasive and optimized aren’t easy to remember when you’re cranking out copy by the ton.

After all, not everyone is capable of turning the fine art of writing into the science of online copywriting. Online copywriters are a hybrid breed, and if you master this craft, you’ll always be in demand and never lack for work.   Continue

Boosting SEO by Getting Inbound Links from .Gov

Every publisher has a love/hate relationship with backlinks. We love when they’re high-quality and make us look good, and we hate when they’re bad and make us look spammy. For the most part though, backlinks of all shapes and forms at least provide a smidgen of proof to Google that we’re worth reading.   Continue

12 Popular Actions in Email Newsletter Usability

How easy is it to interact with your email newsletter?

Marketers can get carried away with email. Some will hide the unsubscribe link with tiny text. Others will use more calls to action than a drill sergeant. These marketers forget that people, not cash machines, are reading the email, and they should be treated well.   Continue

Email Marketing Templates that Are Something to Write Home about

10 email marketing template best practices for success

With email being one of the most effective ways of marketing our products, it’s always a good time to review Best Practice email marketing templates. And while I admit this kind of cut-and-dried work isn’t as much fun for us writers, it’s still necessary to good marketing!

So contain your impatience and read on. (There is one tidbit of actual writing advice tucked away below!)   Continue