The latest strategies for selling online magazine subscriptions
It’s easier to sell online magazine subscriptions today than any time in history. Despite declines in the readership of print magazines, digital publishers are seeing a surge of interest.
Just as people are ditching cable for streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, they’re also trading in print subscriptions for online magazine subscriptions. Niche publications, in particular, are having incredible success in the current climate.
With subscription prices that are often cheaper than a daily print newspaper, online magazine subscriptions can seem like a deal to readers. It’s part psychology and part practicality. Publishers are discovering that readers would rather pay for three magazine subscriptions that cost $5 per month each than one daily newspaper subscription that costs $15 per month.
Stronger paywalls are having an impact, too. Publishers are putting more content behind paywalls, which is causing readers who have enjoyed online magazines for free to finally pony up for a monthly subscription.
Here are five strategies for selling more online magazine subscription that you might not have tried before. If you have other ideas we should include on this list, we welcome you to reach out and let us know what we missed.
Best Practices to Sell More Online Magazine Subscriptions
Utilize hard paywalls
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ Publishers are finding that by putting hard paywalls in front of their best content, they’re creating more demand for their subscription products. Without a paywall in place, readers have almost no incentive to pay for access to your website. While there are some downsides to placing all of your content behind a hard paywall, publishers are finding that there’s more upside than downside to this strategy.
To learn more about how to choose the best paywall strategy, check out Web Publisher PRO’s guide to online paywalls.
Offer VIP Perks
The vast majority of readers who subscribe to online magazines do so for access to digital content, but there are some readers who need a little extra motivation. VIP perks, like discounts to local restaurants, free swag, and tickets to live events, help publishers sell more online magazine subscriptions.
One of the misconceptions about offering VIP perks to subscribers is that the strategy will cost the publisher a fortune to implement. That’s not the case. Local businesses will usually jump at the chance to work with a publisher and offer coupons to the publisher’s subscribers in exchange for online promotion, and swag (like branded t-shirts and book bags) will serve a dual purpose as a marketing tool.
For more ideas on the best VIP perks to give your subscribers, check out Web Publisher PRO’s A-to-Z guide to membership programs.
Create themed collections
If you’re a niche publisher, there’s a good chance you’ve got readers who are devoted to the topics you cover. One way you can encourage these readers to pay for a subscription to your online magazine is by creating special curated collections of articles related to a certain topic or theme. You don’t necessarily have to create new content for this strategy to work. Just gather up all the articles from your online archive that reflect your theme, and re-publish them in a way that’s engaging and easy to navigate. You can promote your themed collections via email or through advertising on your website and social media pages.
Launch an email campaign
If you’re like many magazine publishers, there’s a good chance you’re not taking full advantage of your email database. Segment your database, and launch an email campaign targeted at people who’ve visited your website but haven’t yet subscribed. Targeted email campaigns produce incredible results for publishers, especially when the marketing messages include clear calls-to-action. At the very least, consider including a banner ad at the top of all email newsletters that encourages readers to subscribe for even more great content.
If you’re still looking for ways to grow your email database, consider using a WordPress plugin designed specifically for this purpose.
Make it as easy for readers to subscribe to your online magazine as possible, and then work to eliminate the barriers that prevent people from renewing their subscriptions. Add an auto-pay feature on your website, so subscribers can authorize recurring credit card payments. Not only will this keep your subscription rate up, but it will also help cut down on subscription churn.
Are we missing any important strategies? Let us know your best tips for selling more online magazine subscriptions, and we might highlight your idea in a future article.