Publishers are living and breathing multichannel these days, from editorial delivery to circulation planning to marketing promotions. Since information is their core product, most publishers also are in the perfect position to test many of the new communication and marketing methods, such as blogs, podcasts, co-registration and video. But the challenge in using these tools effectively comes from leveraging both online and offline approaches.
We recently caught up with Nikki Getman, associate director of online circulation at Rodale, an Emmaus, Pa.-based publisher of magazines, books, DVDs and other tools dealing with health and wellness issues, who shared insights from some of her firm’s online and offline exploits.
Target Marketing: What are some of the ways in which Rodale uses online channels to drive subscriptions to its print products?
Nikki Getman: In general, we break our online business for selling print products (magazines, books, DVDs, etc.) into three categories:
Content Web sites: The core brands at Rodale started with magazines, and each brand has its own Web site that is very content-driven. This is a natural place to promote magazine subscriptions, and in fact, a portion of the traffic to the sites come specifically to subscribe. We run a variety of promotional spots for the magazines on the sites with as many fixed positions as possible so that we don’t compete with advertisers for space.
E-mail marketing: We use our house e-mail file extensively to sell our products. The team responsible for selling the book and DVD products has successfully used this source for quite some time, and it is the largest and most profitable source for driving sales. We’ve been aggressively working to better utilize this valuable resource for magazines over the last several months.
External media sources: This is the largest area of growth and learning within our plans. We have been using co-registration for years to sell magazines, but we’re expanding our use of external media to in-line upsells, e-mail and partnerships. To combat payment issues, we have begun scoring high-risk customers on their probability to pay based on purchase data in an effort to make these sources more profitable.