Get more from your magazine with digital publishing

There’s no denying print publishing has experienced its challenges over the past few years, and the path has been paved for digital experiences that connect your publication to a broader audience.

Digital publishing – once a technical nightmare filled with expensive software solutions and the need for a hefty investment – is now more accessible than ever for publishers thanks to services like crmSubscribe. 

crmSubscribe was created by chief architect Alan Leech, who developed a solution for managing subscriptions to eliminate many of the challenges publishers face. It’s an intuitive, automated and affordable way to get content into the hands and screens of readers and is forging the path for digital publishing. 

Alan Leech, crmSubscribe
Alan Leech, Chief Architect, crmSubscribe

The benefits of digital publishing

Digital publishing comes with an array of benefits; no printing or postage costs and the chance to connect with audiences that couriers don’t reach. But perhaps the most effective use of digital publishing is creating a combo deal alongside your print subscription to increase every cart’s order value that checks out. 

Where subscribers might be paying $120 for 12 issues a year, the value add of a digital subscription on top can bring in an extra $20 from every subscriber with little investment and effort on your part. If you choose the right digital subscription solution, that is. There are several options for taking your publication digital. 

1. Investing in a custom CMS and paywall

You can engage a developer to create your own website with a paywall and CMS that instantly allows your subscribers to access your digital magazine. It’s a completely customisable option but requires a significant investment and offers little subscriber management. That part will be up to you and your team. 

2. Outsourcing your PDF publication

Requiring little investment of time or money, outsourcing your digital publication’s management is an easy way to get started. Companies like Realview take the PDF copy of your magazine and upload it to their system. It’s hosted on their site behind a paywall and requires login access that can be managed by crmSubscribe. You pay a small monthly fee, and the ongoing management of your subscribers is handled. They get quick and easy access, and all you have to do is send across your PDF every issue. 

3. Creating a searchable HTML magazine

The Partica system run by Realview can ingest your content and convert it into searchable content. Essentially, it’s a copy and paste option that delivers an HTML version of your magazine that allows readers to search for articles, keywords, and more. Like outsourcing a PDF version, it doesn’t require a large upfront investment and is relatively set and forget from the point of view of a publisher. 

Digital take-up rates speak for themselves

Having managed print subscriptions for decades, and digital alongside those print subscriptions for over five years now, the crmSubscribe team has seen firsthand the benefits of going digital. On average, publishers see around 20 per cent of their existing print subscribers take up their digital offering. 

When you add a pay-per-month offering in place of longer yearly subscriptions, the take-up rate is closer to 60 per cent. Then you have the combo deal offering a digital subscription as an addition to your print publication, then expect around 50 per cent of subscribers will take the digital add-on with the print subscription. A great way of increasing the total subscriber spend without much effort.

All of these options allow publishers to cater to many markets, from the existing print subscriber who may only just be edging their way into the digital world to the modern consumer who’s used to monthly digital subscription options like Netflix and expect the added flexibility. 

There are plenty of options to take your magazine digital, but the best practice is evident. You need to silo your operations into three areas; subscriber purchases and secure data storage, your website, and your paywall content. 

A system like crmSubscribe takes care of payments, manages subscriber accounts, and stores their login details for easy access to your content. No matter what method you choose, though, having all of these operations managed in one place ensures better data security for your payments and your customers’ information. 

Then you have your website. With the right digital partners in place, you can develop a customised solution that’s easy for you to manage and gives your readers every feature they need to subscribe to and access your digital content. 

Your paywall content makes the third silo. Whether you build a custom option, work with hosts to offer PDF magazines, or go down the HTML route, you’re able to choose the option that best fits your magazine’s format. 

The takeaway? When you get the main areas right, digital publishing is easy to set-up, manage to increase your audience and profits. 

If you want to know more about diving into the world of digital and expanding your publishing offer, the team at crmSubscribe are on hand to answer your questions and help you get set-up. Find more information on their website

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