The Press Gazette spoke to major publishers Bauer and Immediate, as well as popular magazine app Readly, about their winning magazine subscription marketing strategies.
They shared their views as ABC’s latest data from the UK magazine industry confirms that digital subscription models are in bad shape, with big players boasting impressive numbers.
General Digital Sales in Magazine Editions increased by 20%from 1,783,146 in 2020 to 2,138,471 in 2021.
Sam Gallimore, Account Director, Bauer Media UK Publishing: Personalized Product Deals
“Creating more comprehensive digital offerings for mobile users and placing magazine content behind paywalls can help expand audience reach and target different consumer groups. At Bauer Media, we have a very successful and growing subscription business and many of our publications have already transitioned to a direct and recurring income model.
“One approach is to segment casual readers and dedicated audiences. This allows us to better understand how they consume their content, and based on this behavior, we can tailor product offerings and pricing. For example, we may create collections of articles that we use to introduce casual or new readers to a brand without ongoing commitment. If we see that they like it and are engaged in it, we can target them with more content and in the long run the plan is to sell them to subscribers.
“In the past, we have focused on getting subscriptions incentivized with discount offers, but we have found that offering a better exchange for customers instead of offering more premium products is more beneficial for both parties. The key point is to move from a transactional path to providing customers with a full package of opportunities. Subscribers are our brand’s biggest fans, and publishers should strive to offer them the best possible experience. We believe this approach is possible for all brands and genres, but works best for those where there is a significant level of passion and commitment from the audience, such as our automotive or hobby magazines.”
Jess Burney, Managing Director of Subscriptions, Immediate Media: Donate in the short term
“Some companies are just perfect for a subscription. You have a well-defined customer base, your customer has a need or need for your product on a regular basis, and you can cut out the middle man and deliver your product directly cost-effectively. If you meet the above criteria, and this applies to both physical and digital products, investing in a subscription model will greatly increase your long-term profits. It will also greatly increase your cash flow, the predictability of your earnings, and the value of your company. If your customer base is very broad, your product is being purchased infrequently, and/or you are looking for short-term value, the subscription model is likely to be less suitable and it will be much harder for you to succeed.
“In order to be successful, you need to be willing to make some short-term sacrifices. A subscription models payback over time and requires an upfront investment in marketing. You may need to invest over 12, 24 or 36+ months to maximize your business size and invest in marketing focused on performance, customer experience, technology and implementation. You will need a talented in-house team or experienced outsourcing partners; perhaps a mixture of both.
“Publishers with special, compelling content, direct access to interested communities, and convenient digital paywalls succeed. Many other media platforms are also successful here – most notably the huge expansion of streaming TV. Companies that are passionate about data, implementing tests and learning about culture are setting the bar for excellence.”
Chris Crouchman, Head of Content, To read: Niche magazines are suitable for the subscription model.
“If you’re going down the subscription route, it’s important to make sure your model is omnichannel. Collaborate with different partners to try out and see what generates the most engagement in your title and what impacts lifetime value, then see what works best for your audience and adjust. Don’t be afraid to try new routes and use the vast amount of available data to fit your model.
“We work with 1,200 publishers around the world, all looking to leverage their digital assets, diversify their revenue streams, and increase their digital circulation. In a data-driven world, use it to be as informed as possible and let it drive your strategy and approach. With Readly Insight, we can see where people actually go to read the magazine, what articles they read, where they leave, and more. We share massive amounts of data about our subscribers’ habits with publishers to help them. grow your readership. We certainly do not share any GDPR sensitive data.
“Niche magazines with special interests appear to have very loyal audiences and are therefore suitable for a subscription model (eg: Craft, trains, cars, photography and food). We see that publishers can build a lot of loyalty around a lead. However, news, celebrities, entertainment, and gossip are suitable for subscription models. [as well] and are constantly in our most popular categories with regular readers who come back every day.”
Fast Winning Magazine Subscription Marketing Strategies from Bauer, Immediate and Readly appeared first on Press bulletin.