marketing for online magazines

The Best Strategies Online Magazines Can Steal from Marketers

Global retail brands spend millions of dollars on marketing each year. Online magazines looking to optimize their revenue streams should take a look at the strategies big marketers are pioneering and find ways to adapt those strategies for their own use.

Nike, Verizon, and Kellogg are just three examples of global brands with super-sized marketing budgets. Nike, in particular, has spent millions developing a new direct-to-consumer strategy this year. Thankfully, the strategies these brands are developing aren’t reserved exclusively for global giants. Online magazines can sample from the strategies and techniques being developed by global marketers as they search for new ways to optimize their revenue streams.

The Latest Marketing Strategies for Online Magazines


Top marketers have been perfecting their personalization strategies for years. It’s not uncommon for brands to have deep profiles of their most frequent customers, with data that they can apply to all types of promotional experiences.

For example, makeup subscription services like Ipsy will customize beauty product recommendations based on a customer’s personal preferences, needs, and purchasing history. Ipsy and its competitors, which include companies like Birchbox and Sephora, collect most of the information they use for marketing personalization through a series of surveys, which are emailed to customers. Customers are asked about their skincare habits and daily routines, and the company sends monthly or semi-monthly boxes with products based on those survey results. If you have ever felt overwhelmed at the beauty counter or a drugstore makeup aisle, you understand the value that this type of personalization brings to consumers.

Online magazines can learn from the personalization tactics pioneered by subscription box companies by sending their own email surveys to readers. Surveys should include questions about the specific topics and types of content (brief posts, long-form articles, videos, infographics, etc.) that readers are most interested in viewing.

Publishers should keep close track of how readers respond to their surveys. When survey responses are funneled into a CRM platform, they can useful for creating segmented email lists. For example, subscribers who indicate they are interested in reading restaurant reviews might be added to a list of readers to receive a weekly newsletter with local restaurant coverage.

(To learn more about crafting targeted email newsletters, check out these articles.)

Cohesive Brand Messaging

Generating brand awareness is something that many online magazines struggle with. Take a cue from the strategies that global marketers employ, and start integrating brand messaging into every one of your digital channels.

Make it a point to communicate what your publication stands for with a brief slogan, and then post that slogan as many places as possible. The more readers see the messaging, the more they will understand what your publication stands for, and the closer they will get to signing up for paid subscriptions.

Strategic Spending

If there’s one thing we know about global marketers, it’s that they are dollar conscious. Experienced marketers take return-on-investment into account at every step of the game. Online magazines should do the same, paying close attention to the results they achieve through every avenue of digital marketing.

Let’s say you’re running a social media campaign to promote your magazine’s new website. How many people arrived at your website by clicking on the ad? How many of those visitors signed up for subscriptions on their first visit? Which social networks brought the most people to your website? These are all questions that you should have the answers to as a cost-conscious marketing professional. Certainly, you should have a clear understanding of which marketing channels are most effective before running any follow up campaigns.

Watching the strategies deployed by experienced marketers allows you to dramatically increase the success of your own promotions. When launching any new marketing campaign, consider how you will evaluate its effectiveness and how much revenue is being used to execute the strategy. Read more about all the latest tactics for running a successful online magazine.