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Fresh New Look: How Anabaptist World Merged Two Websites and Grew its Classifieds Program with Web Publisher PRO

The 2020 merger of The Mennonite and Mennonite World Review was a long time coming. Starting with the formation of a merger task force in May 2017, the two organizations made plans to combine their strengths and carry forward their missions in a way that would allow them to adapt to changes in the way people use digital and print media in the 21st century. Bringing together the two leading Mennonite publishers meant creating an entirely new independent, multiplatform journalistic ministry, which would be called Anabaptist World. It also meant bringing two robust websites under one roof, and that was a challenge that was larger than the organizations initially anticipated.

Although the work to bring The Mennonite and Mennonite World Review’s websites together under one roof began before Danielle Klotz was brought on board as Anabaptist World Inc.’s new executive director in June 2020, the final product is largely a result of her vision and her dedication to developing Anabaptist World into the flagship Anabaptist publication. Klotz envisioned a place where a diverse community would come together to explore and strengthen Anabaptist values and encourage one another to follow Christ faithfully. Achieving that goal would first require fully bringing together the two previous publications’s websites.

“I think our goals have been to merge the previous two websites and retain their content, while still creating a new and fresh look representing the new organization.”

Take a look around Anabaptist World’s all-new website and you’ll find a product that’s modern and bright, with features designed to drive engagement and convert readers into subscribers. Anabaptist World’s print magazine is published every three weeks, but its online content is frequently changing. On any given day, readers might find news articles, opinion pieces, and links to popular podcast episodes. Readers can also sign up for free email newsletters through the website.

One of the challenges that Web Publisher PRO was tasked with when developing the new Anabaptist World website was to combine the past issue archives from The Mennonite and Mennonite World Review and set up self-serve features for classifieds and obituary submissions. Those self-service tools have proven to be highly-effective for growing the publication’s classifieds and obituary programs.

For $1.30 per word, readers can now submit their own classified ads. Anabaptist World has helped people find pastors, teachers, and even sell their farms through its online program.

“Everything has changed. We now have our past issues archived on our site, and we can receive classifieds and obituary submissions straight from there. Previously, people were only using email, or even snail mail, to get those types of content to us.”

Readers can choose from multiple paid subscription packages, for Anabaptist World’s print and digital editions, and they can make donations to support Anabaptist World’s publishing ministry — all through the organization’s new website.

The website built by Web Publisher PRO allows Anabaptist World’s team to operate smoothly and track the information they need to communicate with local advertisers. Klotz says the new website also allows her team to keep tabs on what types of content readers are excited about and which articles are generating the most views and engagement. Those metrics can then be used as sales tools as Klotz’s team works closely with advertisers to put together campaigns that will drive conversions and revenue.

FROM THE CLIENT

Danielle Klotz

“Everything has changed. We now have our past issues archived on our site, and we can receive classifieds and obituary submissions straight from there. Previously, people were only using email, or even snail mail, to get those types of content to us.”

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