Publishing: Five Tips for Leveraging Web Traffic
The Direct Marketing Association’s Circulation Day 2008 Conference, held in New York earlier this month, provided a peek at tactics marketers are using to capitalize on Web site traffic. During the panel discussion “Audience, Online and Community,” marketing and circulation experts from leading publishing companies discussed the move towards leveraging online reader interaction to boost subscriptions and overall circulation profitability. Here, Danielle Mirsky, president of the New York-based direct marketing consulting firm DM Direct Marketing, provides five tips for turning online participants into engaged customers.
#1. Encourage all visitors to register on the site, Mirsky says. “Ask as few questions as possible so you don’t scare them off, such as: name, age, e-mail address, ZIP code and household income (which should be optional).”
#2. Once they register, send participants a monthly e-newsletter to keep bringing them back to the site. “Plus,” Mirsky adds, “it provides additional, targeted opportunities for advertisers.”
#3. Mirsky emphasizes that for magazines, it is important to have a “subscribe today” burst with a compelling offer that stands out above the Web page fold. “For some, visiting a particular magazine’s Web site fulfills their need for content. But many want more, and the ability to subscribe needs to be quick and easy,” she explains.
#4. For publishers, she says, if you have other products in addition to magazines, such as books, always use the site as a place to cross-sell related products. For example, she offers, a news magazine might cross-sell books on past presidents to its site visitors who access articles related to the upcoming presidential election. “Use the site … to sell those books with a banner ad or link on the right-hand side of the page,” Mirsky says.
#5. For sites that have an advertising revenue model, it is important to understand your customers and traffic data. “You need to know where the most popular areas of your site are, how long the average visitor stays in that area and sell advertising against that,” she says. “Just like there is a rate base for magazine circulation, the same applies for Web advertising, and advertisers expect you to deliver the readers you promise.”