In these challenging times, most magazine publishers need revenue from both ads and subscriptions in order to succeed. Your website brings in a lot of visitors but converting them into paying subscribers is challenging. Here are a few methods to get them to sign on the dotted line.
Best practices for converting readers to subscribers
Figuring out what content, message, or strategy will convert casual visitors into subscribers can be frustrating. It will likely take trial and error (and a lot of tracking) to find out what works best for your magazine. Here are a few best practices to start with:
- The No. 1 key to conversion is to provide compelling, useful content that is relevant to your target audience and solves your readers’ problems. This type of content will rank well with search engines and drive targeted traffic to your site. Analyze your content’s performance to determine which types convert best.
- Use data-driven subscription promotions to target readers according to behavior and preferences. These days, publishers have access to so much data, it’s easy to determine how to fine-tune your benefits message.
- Clearly differentiate the subscriber experience from the one that is available for free. Offer valuable extras that will lure visitors to click the subscribe button. For example, offer a free weekly webinar or allow subscribers/members to interact with authors.
- Use free email newsletters to capture visitors’ email addresses, build relationships, and keep them in the loop about what’s available to subscribers. Offer a tip of the week to build engagement, loyalty, and expectations.
- Use a compelling call to action (CTA), but don’t flood your site with it. Entice your target audience by demonstrating the value they’ll receive.
- Optimize your magazine app to improve visibility so it stands out among the thousands of other apps, use relevant titles and keywords to make it discoverable, and make sure your app’s visual elements look professional.
- Use a variety of content — webinars, tutorials, infographics, videos, case studies, and news.
- Engage visitors and capture their email through contests and drawings for prizes of value to them.
- Use pop-ups, slide-ins, and floaters to grab readers’ attention.
- Implement live chat. Visitors like the instant gratification of having their questions answered in real time.
- Use testimonials to show that subscribers are getting the value they are paying for, and that they are happy with it.
- Use exit intent offers to give one last attempt at converting a visitor about to leave your site.
- Give visitors a peek inside your magazine, but don’t let them see everything until they open their checkbook. Give them enough content to whet their appetite, not satisfy it.
Determining exactly what will convert your visitors to paying subscribers is not an exact science. What works for one publication may not work with a different title or genre. The key is to provide relevant, high-quality content that your target audience is searching for. Then entice them to pay for the experience by demonstrating the extra benefits.
Contact your Sheridan representative or visit our contact page to ask how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.