Can Digital Editions Be Sexy?
"There is increasing demand for digital content metrics beyond delivery with open rate, frequency of access and duration to name a few. Technologies exist to reliably track these metrics and there is a clear audit trail for verification purposes," BPA notes in the report. "As there are no generally accepted industry averages for these three metrics, media owners are hesitant to report them for fear of being outside the norm. While BPA reports do include digital magazines and newsletters as net delivered copies, the option is there to report these additional metrics as well as others."
Overall, though, boosting open rates for e-mail notifications about digital editions, as well as opens of the digital magazines themselves, are top priority for many audience development folks and ad salespeople looking to sell advertising in digital publications.
● Heeding the basic best practices for increasing e-mail open rates (e.g., testing subject lines, keeping subject lines short, avoiding spam-alerting copy, telling the reader "what's in it for them") can help gain some advantage for your e-newsletters announcing your digital editions.
● Once the e-mail is opened, the same tactics apply: Try different approaches to the e-mail copy telling the reader about the current issue. Some publishers say including an image of the magazine cover makes a big difference in opens. Others say they put more stock in enticing headlines and teasers for stories for luring readers to click through to specific stories. Some publishers take a personal approach, including a letter from the editor to tell potential readers why they should click through to the issue.
● As for an overall approach to attracting audiences to your digital products, "Think of 'push and pull,'" suggests Jessica Aslanian, director of sales and marketing for digital content solutions provider BlueToad Inc. The 'push,' she says, includes pushing content in front of readers, such as, "including in the e-mail [alert about the new digital edition's availability] links to individual articles of interest to get them to open the digital edition." (Caution: Some advise against including too many links in a digital-edition alert e-mail to avoid your e-mails being caught in spam filters.)