Can Digital Editions Be Sexy?
With print publications having an average newsstand sell-through rate of around 30 percent, give or take a few percentage points, where does that leave digital editions? (Especially when the 16-percent average applies only to the open rate for the e-mail announcement, and not even to those who opened the digital edition.) And consider that browsers at the newsstand who page through print editions and even read articles, but just don't buy the issue, aren't counted in newsstand sell-through, but they would be counted in digital edition click-throughs.
● Some industry experts suggest that the digital edition e-mail open rate of a particular publisher should take into account that publisher's average e-mail open rates. If a publishers' e-mail open rates, in general, are low (current reports put the industry average e-mail open rate at about 23 percent), then expectations for high open rates for e-mails announcing new digital editions are unrealistic, as are high open rates for the digital editions themselves. (Needless to say, the reason for the low e-mail open rates should be examined.)
Publishers, of course, can drill down for individual publications based on more specific measurements.
Texterity products, along with some others on the market, to varying degrees, now feature code allowing for real-time tracking of digital editions usage. "This system is so smart that it can tell when a digital edition (mobile edition) is being read on a mobile device and will identify what kind of device it is," Jill Baker, Texterity's director of marketing, notes on Texterity's blog. Reader behavior tracking can include ads clicked, pages read, shared or printed, and videos watched, with data reports automatically provided to a fulfillment firm and the ability to sell leads or customize content to target audience segments.
Such capabilities allow publishers to "be more accountable with regard to the effectiveness of the ads they run," Baker comments. "[There is] much less reliance on audit numbers to set rates and prove value."