The magazine industry has seen some major changes in the last decade. While not all the changes have been good, it would be silly to think magazines would disappear.
Subscriptions are a key source of revenue for every magazine, so any increase in subscribers can have a dramatic effect on the success of a publication. Here are six ways to appeal to more people and increase subscriptions:
1. Give readers a free trial
Free trials have been used to sell magazine subscriptions for years, and for good reason. According to Forbes, free trials can be very effective. They have been used by all sorts of companies selling a variety of products, from TV and video subscriptions to software and even credit cards. CBS, AOL and even Burger King – in a partnership with Mastercard – have used free trials with high levels of success. While they do require an investment, the reward can pay off big. Once people see what they're getting, they will be willing to pay to keep it coming.
The only issue with free trials is having enough money to utilize them. Finding the right amount of time the free trial should last and picking what the free trial users are actually being offered will impact cost. You don't want to give too much away for free for too long, but you need the duration to be enough time to get customers hooked.
2. Offer plenty of ways to pay
Most people don't want to mail in a check or re-up their subscription at the end of the period they paid for. For this reason, it's best to provide them with multiple ways to pay for their subscription online and then encourage them to set up automatic payments. Offer ACH payments and debit and credit card payments as options. Also, add a common local payment option if you're targeting a specific area of the world or you know that subscribers from a certain area would like it. By making it as easy as possible for subscribers to pay, your increasing the likelihood they will.
3. Utilize more distribution outlets
If you're selling a print publication, you need to make sure the magazine is in as many stores and distribution points as possible. If you're having trouble selling magazines to shops that would distribute them, consider seeing if they will stock the magazine and then take a commission for the ones they sell. If a person buys one magazine in-store, they're more likely to subscribe to it in the future.
4. Use your website
A magazine's website is a great place to leverage the content that's being published. According to Your Business, a Demand Media publication, you can repurpose content in the magazine or post original content. The point here is to attract readers and get them interested enough that they would want to subscribe.
5. Post teaser content to social media and blogs
Have an influential article or something else you know would attract a lot of readers? Going out to take photos for a new article? Tease it on social media. Regularly posting content to social media about what the magazine is doing may get people excited about the magazine's content. You should also be posting relevant content related to whatever your magazine is focused on.
6. Invest in email campaigns
Former subscribers, newsletter subscribers and anyone else who has expressed interest in your magazine should be targeted by email campaigns. The email campaigns, much like your social media teaser posts, should give them a taste of what you can offer them. Encourage them to subscribe, follow or like you on social media and otherwise interact with the brand. Email campaigns can be tough to manage, so if you have the revenue, consider hiring either an outside company or finding a quality email campaign management software solution.