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Tag: subscriptions

A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Making the Digital Conversion

If you’ve been reading here about the journey from legacy print publishing to digital magazine publishing, it may sound almost too confusing to contemplate
The journey involves everything from creating a magazine edition you may never even have heard of before – the web edition – to pricing to marketing on social media to upgrading print

How to Prime an Online Magazine Business Model to Perfection

The sacred elements of any best-practice online magazine business model
Literary perfectionist Gustav Flaubert once said “our ignorance of history makes us slander our own times.” He was right on the money here and not just in his never-ending quest to find “le mot juste” (“the right word”) in a sentence. Finding the perfect word, he

Digital Magazine Publishing Trends: Subscriptions, Subscription Boxes, and Millennials

There’s no shortage of interesting digital magazine publishing trends to watch, but hovering near the top has to be magazine subscription marketing.

With all of the “ad”-versity facing the industry – ad blocking programs, ad viewability, ad tech, etc. – it’s no wonder that digital publishers are trying to circle back and discover other ways of monetizing content. Subscriptions, of course, are a classic route, but it’s a route that has undergone some serious construction and detours since the heyday of blow-in cards.

When Existing Direct Marketing Systems for Publishers Aren’t Enough

Improving direct marketing results is a constant source of discussion for publishers. They are always tracking, evaluating, and testing different offers for their products in order to optimize their results, even moreso now that it can be done online through digital direct marketing systems.

Starting a Magazine Business Plan: Should Your Magazine Be Free?

If you’re starting a magazine business plan, it would be a good idea to circle the troops and decide right now whether your future will be advertising or circulation driven.

Will you choose a mass circulation strategy that allows you to compete with television and portals for advertising dollars, or will you compete with book publishers who sell users premium long-form high-quality content? Those who cannot choose and reside in the middle will likely be lost.

5 Potent Ways to Curtail Subscriber Churn

The subscription model has a lot of perks and one of them is that subscriber churn rate is much lower than any other product you can offer. Customers don’t usually come to your website and buy a single issue, or a book every single month for years on end. Yet they auto-renew regularly.

Psychology suggests there’s a lot more involved to unsubscribe from a product than to simply not show up and buy something new.

Think about doing your laundry at a laundromat. You probably have some kind of regular schedule, but most people don’t follow it exactly all of the time. Maybe you do it every Sunday, or maybe you do it whenever the baskets get full, or maybe you go full months without doing laundry because the laundromat isn’t very fun. You’re in control so you either do it or you don’t, and it take effort and brainspace to make that decision.

The Prices, Offers, and Incentives You Must Test Now

There’s no such thing as publishing a magazine.

The fact is, if you want to transition your business from the traditional print model to 21st-century publishing – and the profits it promises – you have to publish five different magazine editions of every title in your portfolio.

Mequoda has learned from decades of experience that these five are absolutely crucial to successful digital publishing. And many traditional print publishers have learned, to their sorrow, that digital publishing is crucial to their very survival in the modern age.

If that sounds alarming, we can assure you it’s completely achievable – more on that below. But first, let’s consider all five of those editions that we’ve identified as the very heart of our Gold Members’ publishing empires.

Recurring Subscription Billing Benefits and Considerations

When a customer agrees to have a specific charge card billed a certain amount for a pre-determined (or sometimes open-ended) period of time, that’s recurring billing. It’s sometimes called recurring payment or subscription billing. Bank accounts and debit cards can also be billed recurrently. Common time frames are monthly and quarterly.

Subscribers like recurring billing for several reasons. First, they can essentially finance a subscription, making a payment each month. Second, they can commit for a shorter period of time, allowing them to evaluate the service or publication before subscribing for a full year. And third, it’s a convenience—one less bill to pay each month or quarter.

Content Planning: Nailing Down Ideal Post Timing and Frequency

A couple weeks ago I attended an SEO conference called SearchLove hosted by Distilled. One of the speakers was Rand Fishkin, better known as the Wizard of Moz. At the very end of his presentation, completely off topic talked about the time he saw that Hubspot posted 49 articles in a week, and wondered if they’d ever determined that that was an optimal frequency for them.

01-content-planning-nailing-down-ideal-post-timing-and-frequencyLike most of us, especially in publishing, Hubspot was basically on the page that “more content = more traffic.” So Hubspot replied that they hadn’t measured it exactly, and asked if Moz wanted to do an experiment with them. At the time Moz was publishing 8 posts per week. Both cut their frequency in half and the results basically told Hubspot that they could afford to write less, but Moz should write a little more.

Publishing Tech + Data: Circulation, Facebook, Economist

Publishing tech is a priority for digital magazines – but it’s not as easy as just checking off a box

Top Subscription Billing Software Solutions for Publishers

Subscription billing software allows publishers to manage their customer subscriptions and revenue by storing payment data and processing charges on a recurring basis. Of course, subscriptions have been an important economic model for publishers for a long time and good digital publishers continue to take advantage of the benefits.

Most publishers understand that merchant accounts and payment gateways are necessary to take someone’s credit card and ensure the funds end up in the right place. Subscription billing software ensures that accounts can be charged on a regular basis. These services store credit cards, and ensure that every month the right people get charged the right amount for their subscription service.

Some payment gateways have developed simple recurring billing modules on top of their existing systems. Other services have developed specific capabilities around subscription billing.

Publishing Economics: Facebook, European Expansion, Ad Blocking

The volatility of publishing economics will be mitigated with a multiplatform strategy built on repeatable best practices. That is one of our core principles, and a big part of what the Mequoda Method is built on.

Still, it’s worth it to monitor the trends priming the pump of publishing economics, and Digiday certainly has us covered in that department this week. Let’s take a look at a few of their latest articles!

How to Write a Better Magazine Sales Letter in 7 Steps

A magazine sales letter full of content and detail works best for selling premium information products online. No matter how hard we try to make winners out of short sales letters (after all, they’re much less work!) we still see A/B split after A/B split show that longer magazine sales letters work best.

Choosing the Best Content Management System for Digital Publishers

Your content management system is, simply stated, the system used to manage the content on your web site … but it’s so much more than just that. Choosing a CMS is one of the most important decisions publishers make today.

When it comes to choosing the best CMS for your digital publishing business, you can find advice from vendors, marketers, editors, sales people, technology experts, web developers, and even consultants. Although there are many choices, publishers need to stay focused on their goals when selecting a system.

Renewed Commitment to Tablet Content Driving Successful Publishing Strategy

We still believe strongly in tablet content. Like any other part of a multiplatform publishing strategy, it’s not something you should invest your entire portfolio in, but tablet usage statistics and sales are steady with some indications of improvement in the coming years, especially internationally.

Having apps people want along with well-designed digital magazines that read clearly, stylishly, and effectively with tablet content is a must for any modern media company. Don’t heed the haters – tablet publishing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, its best days may be ahead.

But, to paraphrase LeVar Burton, don’t take our word for it. Digiday has the scoop on a publisher embracing tablet content and seeing results.

How to Create User-Centric Multi-Platform Products

Periodical publishers have historically considered content to be disposable – generated once for use in a periodical or book and then discarded.

Multi-platform publishers who recycle, reuse, and re-publish information in many different multi-platform products (portals, periodicals, books, email newsletters, membership websites, libraries, courses, events, DVDs, CDs, and more) are the ones – large, small, or independent – who will succeed.

Also, customer-driven content management has become commonplace, allowing a diverse community of online users to engage and be engaged in many different ways, compared to simply subscribing to a magazine or buying a book, and the resulting environment has become much bigger and more sophisticated than in the past.

Organizing content around the customer, therefore, really means organizing content efficiently and effectively to extend your brand and drive both revenue and profit.

Advertising for Publishers: Programmatic, Ad Blocking, and More

Advertising for publishers is also well known as an adventure for publishers, or better yet, a “choose your own adventure” for publishers, rife with peril but also the possibility for cashing in. There are obstacles around every corner in the way of ad blocking and viewability, and new technologies that can act as implements in your quest.

Programmatic ads make for one of those tools, and it’s becoming more and more popular even as some question its efficacy. MediaPost has some coverage on this topic and more among recent posts!

Online Publishing Trends: Digital Diversity, Adaptation Challenges, and Beyond Native

Is there anything more mercurial than online publishing trends? Not many industries have a more evolving mindset, technologies, or revenue models.

On some days, this is a great thing, and on others, it can make your head spin. But stay calm! There’s a core strategy that will steer you through the storm.

You can figure it out for yourself, or you can check out our Mequoda System to get a feel for multiplatform publishing strategy to attract, engage, and convert consumers. Because, in the end, the bottom line is the bottom line, and you have to stick with the principles while experimenting with what works for you.

How B2B Magazines Can Thrive on the Internet of Things

Mastering what the Internet of Things offers can go a long way for B2B magazines when it comes to driving revenue; plus, publishers’ archives, Facebook Instant Articles, and more
There’s a reason we count so many B2B magazines among our Mequoda Members: They’re niche, they know how to stick to a plan while also experimenting, and

Want to Create a Magazine Online? Think Video and Subscriptions.

If you came to this website for help on how to create a magazine online, congratulations: You couldn’t have picked a better place. That’s just one goal the Mequoda System will help you reach, and it’s just the beginning of new growth for your company.

Imagine a world-class chef going through your leftovers and digging through your pantry to make you a dinner. If you threw together a bunch of ingredients with everything else you have going on, chances are that meal leaves a bit to be desired. When the chef does it, what results is a mouthwatering feast you never thought possible.

We are that chef. The ingredients are nearly limitless – they include everything from your portal to your email newsletter to your social media strategy to video and subscriptions. When we say multiplatform strategy, we mean it.

How to Sell Magazine Subscriptions Online Without Blow-in Cards

Have you ever received one of those birthday cards in the mail from one of your “funny” friends, where you open the envelope and glitter basically falls everywhere?

That’s close to how customers have always felt about magazine blow-in cards that try to sell magazine subscriptions. Maybe the cards don’t nestle themselves into the cracks of your hardwood floors to remind you forever of the hilarity, but they do fall over the floor whenever an innocent reader opens your magazine in the magazine aisle at Barnes & Noble or the end cap at the grocery store.

When a Great Niche Publishing Strategy Spurs Growth

When we set out more than a decade ago to construct the most profitable niche publishing strategy for magazines, we took a big risk on how the new media industry would evolve. But it was a calculated risk, literally, as we broke down every aspect of digital publishing and then built it back up based on data analysis, audience behavior and consumer magazine stats, and the market we watched take shape during our combined 130 years’ worth of experience.

Digital Content Publishing News: Regional Magazines, Event Production, Online Advertising

Understanding the new model for digital content publishing via niche and multiplatform principles 

Digital content publishing is greater than the sum of its parts; grasping this concept makes a successful multiplatform strategy possible.

While you’ll definitely have strengths and weaknesses as an online magazine, on balance, you must gain some traction on at least a few tracks

How to Launch a Magazine Subscription Website and Increase Digital Sales

If you are a legacy magazine publisher, guarantee success by learning how to launch a magazine subscription website, which is often misunderstood.
A magazine subscription website model is set up to sell subscriptions for a related print or digital magazine and to provide access to issues of the magazine.

For the past 20 years, our team has been

The Best Classified Ad System for Publishers

What to look for in a classified ad system, from Haven Nexus, to yClas, Classipress and ClassifiedEngine
Classified ads have a long tradition of providing service to readers. For newspapers, classifieds were a major source of revenue until online sales services, such as Craigslist, and all the online job search services, such as Monster, took over the space they

Online Publishing News: Trends, Events, Rebrandings, and More

Hey, how about some online publishing news that doesn’t include ad blocking or Facebook Instant Articles? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

What we like best about this batch of online publishing news is that it demonstrates just how proactive digital magazines are being about devising and implementing multiplatform publishing strategy, and how newsstand services beyond the big three of Facebook, Apple, and Google are in it to win it.

FolioMag.com has recent articles on these subjects and several others. Let’s see what direction the business is heading in this week!

Increase Magazine Subscriptions With One Simple Trick

For the first many years as a publisher, you had one goal and only one goal: increase magazine subscriptions.

BPD

Building a strategic business plan for your company
For the right client, it all starts with our exclusive Business Planning program. This 60-day engagement kicks off with a full day meeting in Boston with your key stakeholders and 5 of our team leaders. We begin in the morning with an intense primer on the Mequoda Method

What Every Multi-Platform System Must Provide for Magazine Publishers

It’s no secret that Mequoda is the leading strategy-centric content management system provider for magazine and newsletter publishers looking to lock in on a multi-platform system. If it is news to you, then, hey, nice to meet you!

Magazine Strategy: Email, Marketing, Metrics, Monetization

Checking in on the magazine strategy fueling digital publishers’ latest efforts
There are core tenets to magazine strategy, but it’s also mutable, malleable, and always evolving. We make it our business to not only develop our own best practices, but also to monitor the trends taking shape in the digital publishing business and pass them on

How to Build a Retail Distribution Channel

Publishers sometimes forget that they, themselves, are retailers; publishers sell subscriptions, memberships, books, ancillary products, events, etc. It’s smart for a publisher to think like a retailer: Get people into your store, where they can become your customers. And when they become your customers, get them to come back for more. The “store,” of course, is your website, your portal.

The Key Role of Audience Development in Multiplatform Publishing

Multiplatform publishing is the key to publishing success, and audience development is the job that gets you there

Sixteen years later, I can still remember the day a large publishing company, who’d been negotiating with my marketing services firm to revive a struggling magazine it owned, decided to cut its losses and shut the magazine down

Publishing on Facebook: The Latest on Instant Articles + Video

For magazines publishing on Facebook Instant Articles, a primer on how media companies are using it, how the social media giant is tweaking it, and how holdouts are responding; plus, getting serious about video
Publishing on Facebook Instant Articles isn’t quite as polarizing a prospect as initially thought, but it will still be a major decision

Calculating Digital Magazine Costs

Digital magazine costs aren’t limited to production and design, there are distribution fees to take into account, as well as the software and hosting fees

There’s no doubt that publishing your digital magazine on a tablet, so that it can be downloaded in some of the world’s largest newsstands, is a good idea. 20% of your

Big Names Join Forces for New Online Ad Network

Is an online ad network the answer to publishers’ prayers when it comes to digital advertising revenue? We’re seeing it with programmatic partnerships and other arrangements, and why not? Brands have a lot of power in the current climate, but digital magazines can muster some mojo, as well, by uniting to provide advertisers the best possible placement and viewability.

Then again, we don’t fault any publisher for going it alone, as many do via social media and services like Magzter. After all, monetization is in the eye of the beholder. But Mequoda Members know that the more platforms, the merrier.

Magazine Industry Trends: Audience, Digital Ads, Paywalls for Online Content

Making sense of the latest magazine industry trends via top digital publishers: Rodale, Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst, IBT
So much news about magazine industry trends during the past month, in large part because of the MPA’s annual gathering in New York City. This news centers on audience development, digital advertising, and monetization strategies that funnel

Tips for Boosting Your Subscription Revenue Model

For digital publishers not fully reliant on ads – which hopefully is you if you’re aiming for high multiplatform performance – few components are as crucial as your subscription revenue model.

At Mequoda, we’ve spent a ton of time studying and writing about digital subscriptions, because we believe they’re a big part of the future of digital magazines.

The Best Digital Magazine Examples and Why We Love Them

These four exemplary digital magazine examples demonstrate best practices in design, business models and pricing
With 20% of tablet users reading digital magazines every day, it’s instructive to take a closer look at the variety of digital magazine formats and subscription choices that are available to them five years after the iPad blasted onto the scene.

When

Online Magazine Subscription News: How One Publisher Succeeds

Online magazine subscription tactics will key digital publishing strategy in the coming years, as advertising challenges like ad blocking and viewability could force small and midsize, regional and niche, publishers walled off by the likes of Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat to shift to a membership model.

Luckily, Mequoda Members already know that digital magazine subscriptions are a crucial component of a mutliplatform publishing strategy. The question is not whether to offer subscriptions, but rather what is the best mechanism or product with which to do so.

And you have options.

15 Proven Ways Your B2C Email Marketing Can Increase Clicks and Revenue

How to pump up the jam on your B2C email marketing efforts

Last week we dug into best practices in B2B email marketing. Business-to-business email marketing is particularly different because products are typically higher priced, copy is longer, and the best times to send email are typically during the 9-5ish hours.

B2c email marketing, or business-to-consumer email

12 Proven Ways Your B2B Email Marketing Can Increase Clicks and Revenue

Based on the results of a collection of A/B tests here’s a list of B2B email marketing best practices (and tests you can try yourself)

In their free time, some people like to ski or walk their dog, but I get kicks out of sitting back with a cup of tea and reading through results of

What is Relationship Marketing and How Can it Help You Increase Sales?

Take a look at these three case studies to better understand how you can combine content marketing strategy and relationship marketing strategy to sell while you sleep

Top Magazine Publishers Busy in First Month of 2016

While most of us are still ramping up, the early days of 2016 haven’t seen much of a break in the action when it comes to the top magazine publishers’ business moves.

Digital Publishing Jobs: Data, Generalists, Additions, Subtractions

If you came here seeking digital publishing jobs to apply for, don’t be disappointed that you don’t see any listings in this post, because we’ve got something better for you: What digital magazine executives are looking for not only in 2016, but in the years to come.

How An Internet Marketing Services Agency Could Catapult Your Multiplatform Publishing Capacity

Whether you’re outsourcing your Internet marketing services or building an internal Internet marketing services department, these 11 content marketing job functions are key

I’ve been running marketing services departments and companies for the better part of 30 years. Mequoda Group is an independent co-operative Internet marketing services company that currently supports 20+ client organizations. The most common marketing system configuration we’re supporting is a daily portal or blog at the core with one or more subscription websites, and an online store that sells books and videos. Our organization doesn’t produce any of the original premium content, but we do produce a lot of the affinity content that is used for audience development including white papers, blog posts, and social media. We also produce and analyze the email newsletters, email promotions, and landing pages that are used to generate revenue.

7 Digital Magazine Publishing Metrics

Digital magazine publishing success can be monitored with the help of these metrics

Digital magazine publishing has come a long way from its inception. Some digital publishers are very active in offering digital magazine apps, including premium and affinity versions.

Like all other digital platforms, there is necessity in tracking relevant data so you can focus on the most successful products and plan for future ones.

Digital Profits Account for One-Third of a Dominant Publisher’s Total

Digital profits are what it’s all about, right? This business is about results, not process, and with a business operating with a small margin of error, the more inroads publishers can make with digital, the better chance they have of staying competitive and rising to the top of a crowded field.

For us, digital ultimately comprises 90% of a successful publishing enterprise — from apps to online magazines to white papers to subscriptions and much more — and our mission revolves around helping magazines transition to a successful digital existence. Many Mequoda Members, though, are niche and regional magazines, with a few majors and general-interests thrown in.

So, in other words, when we hear that digital profits are driving one-third of a publisher’s success, we’re not surprised. But when we hear that digital profits are driving one-third of a legacy publisher like Hearst’s success, we are surprised.

MediaPost has that scoop, plus some more news on native ads.

Publisher-Advertiser Alignment Crucial for 2016

The publisher-advertiser dynamic has always been a fragile one, but it needn’t be a fractious one. After all, it’s a symbiotic relationship, and the success of each, in theory, depends upon the success of the other.

And the more things change, the more they stay the same.

3 Subscription Website Publishing Predictions for 2016

Consumers will respond to memberships over subscriptions and publishers will thrive with more integrated publishing systems
The one thing you can count on as a magazine publisher is that there will always be subscribers. Except that in 2016, they’d prefer you stop calling them that, because they’d prefer to be members who subscribe to your magazine.

3 Digital Magazine Publishing Predictions for 2016

Publishers will reinvent their digital magazines across platforms and newsstands in 2016
This year print magazines saw a sharp downturn in newsstand sales, with a 10.3% drop year-over-year in single issue retail and a 9.8% drop in dollar value during that same time period, MediaPost reports. Time Inc., Hearst, and Meredith all saw plunges. Meanwhile, The New Yorker,