Mequoda Weekly: March 18th, 2013 – March 22nd, 2013

Let us transform your organization into a digital publishing powerhouse – as we have for dozens of your colleagues and competitors already. Join us for the Internet Marketing Intensive!


Online Magazine Subscriptions: 1 Case Study and 6 Strategies

Print publications are dying a slow but inevitable death. We notice it almost every day – in fact, it’s so much a part of our current culture, that last December, the Onion satirized the trend: Dunbar Family Forced to Discontinue Print Edition of Christmas Newsletter, ran the headline. “Amid a rapidly changing Christmas-letter landscape, the printed word has become a less effective way to keep you informed about Dunbar family affairs,” wrote editor-in-chief Phyllis Dunbar.

It’s funny … but not, if you’re a traditional print publisher. If you’ve got a print magazine, you’re surely planning to go digital soon, in you’re not there already. Everyone knows that with the advent of tablets, online magazine subscriptions are the future of publishing. Problem: Few publishers understand how to monetize their content online.

Without a clear vision of how to actually profit from digital publishing, many publishers simply upload their magazine to the Internet and cross their fingers that it will work. Of course at Mequoda, we have a bulletproof plan that makes finger-crossing unnecessary. And one of our clients, the Biblical Archaeology Society, is proving that online magazine subscriptions done right can be a solid revenue stream. Keep Reading


Creative Landing Pages are About More than Fancy Design

The other day my husband had to fetch a magnifying glass to read what was printed on a box of gourmet chocolate milk mix.

It was in tiny, light brown type on a dark brown background.

Somewhere, a designer and the executive who approved it are vastly proud of their handsome design. So elegant, so refined.

So useless.

As much as I love the designers I’ve worked with over the years, it pains me that so many people think fancy design is the best way to sell products and appeal to consumers. And this is especially true on the Internet, where flashy, cluttered, bewildering – and expensive! – design seems to dominate. It seems never to have occurred to anyone that confusing visitors with bells and whistles is a lousy way to sell products.

Don’t get me wrong. At Mequoda, we’re quite fond of creative landing pages. But when you have just a few seconds to convince a new visitor to stick around and hopefully complete some action that you’ve established – subscribing to a free newsletter or buying a product – the last thing you want to do is let a designer loose!

Creative landing pages can also be effective landing pages, but only when you restrain the design, layout and copy with some proven guidelines. Keep Reading


Use the Snippet Email Layout to Drive More Traffic

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

At Mequoda we have three different types of email newsletters:

  • Our daily editorial email newsletter has the primary purpose of sharing new daily content and promoting our consultants in the sidebar. It’s main goal is to build loyalty with our subscribers throughout the week.

  • The promotional email has a single goal of getting you to come hang out with us at an event. It’s meant to sell a product.

  • The weekly is a snippet-based email delivered to those who opt into it, or opt out of daily emails but still want to receive our new blog posts. It also promotes an event because we’re not ad-driven and these email newsletters need a call to action! Keep Reading


The Best Paid and Free Press Release Sites

On content-driven, information-rich websites we use press releases for more than the basic announcement. We also use them to release free white papers because we know that they offer more opportunities for inbound links and the SEO benefits required to get a landing page ranked well in Google.

Since Google now holds us responsible for the inbound links that come to our site, we decided to update our annual guide to the best paid and free press release sites by completely eliminating the sites with low SEO scores. What started out as a 50-something list is now down to just ten.

These PR distribution services are deemed both credible and SEO-friendly, which are the only inbound links we truly value.

  • Credibility: We determined credibility by checking the PageRank and also their number of inbound links. This process eliminated most of the free sites in our list, leaving just six with respectable page rank of 5 and above. We think paid sites should offer more link credibility in addition to bonus features, so we slimmed down our list to PR 7 and above.

  • Search Engine Optimization: We also took into account basic SEO functionality. These sites allow tagging, anchor text links, keyword data and other search elements. The paid sites typically allowed up to eight outbound links, whereas most free sites only allow one. Keep Reading


If you have only a nominal understanding of digital publishing, or none at all, you must attend the Internet Marketing Intensive.



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