The Mobile Imperative: What Magazine Publishers can do TODAY to Optimize for Mobile

Eric Shanfelt

Eric Shanfelt, Sr. VP of eMedia at HarperCollins

50% of emails are read on mobile devices and 35% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. These numbers are only going to grow, but is your publishing business optimized for this change? What does it mean to be mobile-optimized? Do you just need an app to be mobile-ready? We recently checked in with Eric Shanfelt, Senior VP of eMedia for the Christian publishing division of HarperCollins and a Niche Digital Conference speaker this fall, and we asked him to tell us why a mobile strategy is so important for niche publishers, how mobile impacts readership and revenue for their magazines, and what they can do NOW to be mobile-friendly:

NICHE: What are three things publishers can do right now to become more mobile-optimized?

Eric Shanfelt: The easiest thing niche publishers can do is to make sure their key employees—including their CEO and higher level decision makers—use a mobile device regularly. They especially should use their mobile devices to view their own website and emails…..this will really open their eyes! [Read more…]

Improve ROI with Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing has grabbed the spotlight. Not convinced? How does jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon improve your profits?  Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg knows how. Check out their latest remarkable  Jan 2013 stats.

And here’s more numbers to chew on:

  • The number of US mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones. (Source: eMarketer, 2013)
  • Retailers’ apps take up the most of consumers’ time at 27%, followed by online marketplace at 20%, purchase assistance at 17%, price comparison at 14%, and daily deals at 13%. (Source: AdMedia Partners, 2013)
  • Consumers spent six times as much time in retailers’ apps in December compared to a year earlier. (Source: Flurry, 2013)

Expand your audience with mobile marketing strategies that work.

Maybe you have already determined that you need to make sure mobile marketing fits within the overall business strategy for your niche publication. From apps to mobile only content to mobile ads, it is important to understand how mobile can translate into long-term sales success. Regan Fletcher, VP of Business Development at News360  and one of our esteemed Niche Digital Conference speakers in 2012, has consulted with niche publishers about their mobile marketing strategies–how to create one from scratch, why their existing strategy is not working, how to improve ROI, etc.

“First and foremost, think about a more significant percentage of mobile’s contribution to your overall revenue,” he advises. “The key paths to free monetization are by creating mobile ads and apps. You can and should offer subscription incentives, sponsorships, segment and event apps.” And once your mobile marketing program is a well, fine-tuned machine, make sure you spend some time promoting those cool new apps.

Addition: to see how important mobile apps can be in monetizing your magazine, consider the case of The Magazine (that really is its name!) – 25,000 subscribers, authors are paid, and no advertising, but it still turns a profit just off of the $1.99 app store download for each issue!

How has YOUR niche magazine learned to get the most bang for buck with mobile marketing programs?  Tell us and the niche magazine world on Facebook or Twitter.


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 –  Check it out!

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