How to Build E-Newsletter Revenue and Circulation
E-newsletters have become an effective way to drive traffic to Web sites, reach more targeted markets, extend brand names and generate revenue. In the magazine world, they have become a growing phenomenon for publishers who are depending upon them more and more to boost both subscriptions and ad dollars. And while e-newsletters may seem fairly simple to create and distribute, the tactics for optimizing their potential are quite complex. Publishing Executive spoke with a few publishers who have experienced e-newsletter success to find out what’s worked and what hasn’t in their climb to impressive circulation numbers and healthy revenues.
Getting the Word Out
Possibly the best starting point in discussing what makes e-newsletters thrive is promotion, according to the industry professionals interviewed for this article.
In fact, Alec Dann, general manager of business media online for Hanley Wood in Washington D.C., says his company relies primarily on three very effective promotional tactics: an e-newsletter link from a magazine’s home page, which is placed prominently above the fold; opportunities to sign up for an e-newsletter while signing up for a magazine subscription online; and promotions via trade-show Web sites that list all newsletters available.
“These tactics have worked very well for us—specifically the trade show Web site promotions,” says Dann, whose company recently received an award for its e-newsletter The Big Builder, which currently maintains 15,000 subscribers. “When we first promoted this way, we wound up receiving 35,000 subscriptions. I was completely surprised. I only expected between 5,000 and 10,000.”
Teri Mollison, group publisher for New York-based Penton Media Inc., says she moderates trade-show promotions. She says Penton occasionally promotes its newsletters through trade-show registration, but explains, “There is a time for cross-promoting, but other times you’re just bothering people. We’ll promote only the newsletter that is directly associated with a trade show rather than all of them.”