Easy Ways to Double Your Magazine’s Digital Revenue



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Expert Eric Shanfelt shares some easy ways to double your magazine’s digital revenue.

Can you really double your digital revenue with simple adjustments to your business model and without burning out your list? Eric Shanfelt knows you can.

Eric, a recent Niche CEO Summit speaker and Founder and President of eMedia Strategist, has worked and consulted for dozens of media companies and built several multi-million dollar digital media businesses. He has seen what works….and what doesn’t. We asked him to share some easy ways for niche publishers to kick their digital revenue into high gear.

NMHQ: What are the most important things to remember when developing a digital strategy to boost revenue? 

Shanfelt:

First, make sure to follow the digital media revenue blueprint:

  1. Attract – Get the right audience to your website.
  2. Engage – Get them to opt in to a relationship (e.g. email).
  3. Retain – Deliver valuable content and nurture the relationship.
  4. Convert – Turn that relationship into revenue (advertiser or reader revenue).

There are so many ways that media companies can improve in all four of these areas … any one of which will significantly increase their digital revenue.

Second, focus on the fundamentals and avoid “shiny object syndrome.” There are so many options that media companies can pursue today … social media, apps, etc. … but most of them are distractions that take away valuable time and resources from what really builds an audience and drives revenue.

NMHQ: Do you have any tips to help publishers improve their digital business? 

Shanfelt:

Sure. Here are the ground rules that I always stress with any company I work with.

First, email drives revenue. Email sounds so 1990’s, but the reality is that it works and is still the best way to drive revenue. I will take one email over 10 Facebook followers, 100 Twitter followers, or 1000 page views.

Second, email list building is your website’s #1 job. It’s not delivering content, selling advertising, or selling to the visitor. Why? Because I can only monetize a website visitor once. But if I get their email address, I can monetize them over and over again: email advertising, increased web site visits, lead gen, ecommerce, event registration, subscriptions, etc.

My third rule is everything must be mobile-friendly. That includes your website, emails, landing pages … everything! If you’re not mobile-friendly then you’re losing revenue. Search engines will penalize your site, and visitors won’t engage, won’t come back, and you won’t be able to monetize them.

NMHQ: Is there any other advice that you can give to publishers about their digital strategy? 

Shanfelt:

I recommend that everyone download my free book, 10 Proven Website Revenue Tactics. It goes through 10 real-world examples of changes media companies can make … just to their website! … that will build a bigger audience and drive more revenue. Implementing just a few of these changes will significantly grow a media company’s digital business.

 

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eric-shanfelt-100x100More about Eric: Eric Shanfelt is founder and president of eMedia Strategist. For the past 20 years he’s worked with dozens of consumer, B2B, and book publishers helping build their digital businesses. He’s also helped multiple media companies launch, highly-successful, multi-million-dollar online content communities with advertising, ecommerce and subscription revenue streams using proven, practical, audience-building and revenue-generating strategies to grow digital business.

 

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau– Niche Media’s Grand Poobah–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Web: NicheMediaHQ.com
– Blog:  Niche Media HQ
– Twitter: @NicheMediaH
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

 Image from freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

Ad Sales Summer Reading List



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Ok, summer reading would be way more fun at the beach right now. We can dream.

Taking a few days off from the blog while we’re at the Niche CEO Summit in Chicago. Stay tuned until next Monday, 7/20 for an info-packed week of posts–plus leadership updates from the summit.  

Here are some of our most popular ad sales posts for your summer reading:

[Read more…]

Be Creative With Your Job Title To Get Better Sales Results



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Ad Sales: Your job title can help you stand out from the crowd!

Ad sales people–what is your job title? Don’t say, “Sales!” It’s bound to make some people yawn or possibly start avoiding you.

I came up with my Grand Poobah job title about 8 years ago. It ended up being one of my very best marketing ideas ever, and it cost nothing.

It all came about totally naturally. We were holding our very first Niche Media Conference. The theme was “bowlingsince we rented out a bowling alley for our welcome reception. When I think of bowling, I think of Fred Flintstone……. and then I think of the grand meeting of the Water Buffalos…….the one where they wore those crazy hats with horns in them. Sorry–that’s how my mind works. Yabba, Dabba Doo. [Read more…]

Just the Facts, Ma’am – Better Magazine Ad Sales Research with Surveys



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Surveys are an important tool in your ad sales tool kit!

In case you haven’t noticed, the business of selling advertising has changed. I remember fondly the days when selling ads meant “print” ads and the most sophisticated question was, “How many readers do you have, and what does it cost?” Now clients say, “I want a data driven understanding of the influence your readers have over the buying process.” Huh? Say what?

In our data-driven world, surveys are a powerful way to gather information to make a successful sales pitch to today’s client. Your advertiser doesn’t want to know how much it costs or how many impressions he’ll get. He is looking for a multi-media platform to promote to people who are proven to have influence to buy his product. He wants to know what your readers consider to be the most reliable way to learn about his products and what convinces them to make that purchase.

First, choose a way to build and distribute your survey. I use Survey Monkey but there are many other services. You can even get add-ons for Facebook and other social media sites. Plumb your various email lists, distribute through your Facebook page, or use your website to reach the target the group for your survey. Keep them simple and short, and make sure to let participants know how much you appreciate their time! Here are some sample questions from a ten-question survey to select e-newsletter subscribers: [Read more…]

5 Great Email Subject Lines Prospects/Clients will Open!



No doubt about it–email can be your lifeline to your prospects and clients. It’s frustrating when you can’t seem to get a response. But these people are very busy and inundated with emails.

How the heck do you get them to open YOUR email?   The key is personalization.  Make sure you always begin the subject line with their first name. It grabs their attention.

Here’s 5 subject lines that really work.…

Frustrated Ad Sales Professional

Frustrated Ad Sales Professional

1. <First Name>, Great talking to you!
You should be following up after every sales call. The info they were interested in during the call will float away within a few minutes after the call. Your follow up email will remind them of the important information discussed. I use this subject line because it reminds them that they know me (so they open it) and has a quick action item in it.

2. <First Name>, I just sent you a voice mail
OK, I hate leaving a voice mail with a prospect. They probably won’t listen to it. But, at some point you have to leave one. This subject line works. Much better chance they will listen to the vm plus they get hit twice with a message. (And you better leave them a great idea and not “The closing date is blah, blah, blah….” It’s a double hit with them that works.

3. <First Name>, You don’t send me flowers anymore! OR <First Name>, Are you still alive?
This one is really effective! This is a situation when the prospect has promised they would get back to you for weeks and

you use guilt. Is it OK to use guilt? Heck yes, we are in ad sales, you gotta use whatever you got.

4. We’re covering <Product> in the March issue!
We would have product round ups all the time in our magazines. You mention that you are  featuring their product in your magazine and you need info–you’ll get a response in a heartbeat.

5. <First Name>, We covered you on page 63 this month!
Any time you do a company or product mention in your magazine or on your website you want the client to know about it

. And you want the ad sales person to be the hero and get the credit.So don’t get frustrated, get busy. These are just 5 easy subject lines that I use with great results. There are dozens more. I’d love to hear from you what YOU use that works! Share with us and all the niche magazine ad sales people out there on Facebook or Twitter.

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Connect with Your Prospects – Weird Database Fields for Better Ad Sales – Part 2



I have always had weird Ad Sales database fields that yield great results. You need a better Ad sales database if you want to target your clients better, know your clients better. It means going beyond the typical fields with typical contact info and creating the weird database fields  I wrote about on a previously. Here is one key, kinda weird database field that deserves special attention:

Special Interest of Clients: When you talk to new prospects they often go into this monotone “Yes-and/or-No” robot mode when you call them. They are trying to give you no sign of life with the hope you will just go away.

DALMATIAN

Find out what your prospects enjoy in their spare time and you will be “spot on” in grabbing their attention.

A long time ago I had a big time prospect that would do this all the time. In frustration I said, “Jim, I just want to ask you ONE question and then I’ll let you go.  If you could do anything you want on a Saturday afternoon what would it be?”    I “heard” an immediate smile in his voice and he said, ” Play with my Dalmatian puppy.”

For two months I continuously sent him stuff in the mail that was in Dalmatian colors–black and white. He ended up buying a $40,000 ad program from me. So, whenever I talk to a new prospect or client I always ask them what they like to do in their spare time or what their hobby is — whether it’s knitting, cooking, rooting for Alabama football or brewing beer. I put the info into my database and have sold a ton of advertising as a result.

(Side benefit for Niche Magazine Conference Attendees–you make so many new biz contacts outside your own niche that I bet they can help you with ideas on what to send that client that enjoys foxhunting or knitting or home brewing or…..) How have you improved your Ad Sales database in 2013? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

Image from stockfreeimages.net