A New Sales Engine

The transition into digital publication has been rough on newspapers. (This year’s New York Press Association Spring Conference has made that clear.) Your digital front end isn’t just a supplement to your print edition – it’s the engine that drives all your sales, digital and print alike.

It’s time to put your focus on that digital sales funnel.

Reaching Out

Traditionally, newspapers have focused on outbound marketing to drive their sales.

They peruse old and potential subscriber lists and focus on reaching out to them. They send postcards that offer deals. They make cold calls to try and personally convince people and organizations to subscribe to their paper.

When newspapers were solely in print, this was a reasonable option. (In many ways, it was the only option.)

But adding a digital edition changes the game. It doesn’t just add another route for readers to access your content. It opens up a whole new world of sales.

Pulling In

Inbound marketing is the art of bringing readers to your content and letting them initiate the sales process.

This is where having a good, versatile metered paywall becomes crucial. It protects the value of your content without isolating it from potential subscribers.

For readers to come to you they first must find you. Some of them will find you by reputation alone: they’ll come directly to your website. Most of them will come to you when you have information and analysis they want.

Having the right metered paywall makes all of your content accessible to search engines like Google – which means if you have info, people can find it. The metered paywall also also means that readers can share your articles across Facebook and Twitter and all the rest, spreading your content by word-of-mouth.

Once they arrive, the paywall lets them read a few articles before prompting them to subscribe. Some people will dive right in and join you. Others can be persuaded to give up their email address for a few more freebies.

Once you have their email address you can engage in a digital version of that traditional outbound marketing by sending automated newsletters and subscription offers to their inboxes.

Adding an app to the mix just increases your audience. It’s another market for subscriptions.

Digital Sales For Print Subscriptions

But focusing on your digital sales funnel doesn’t just increase your digital subscriptions. It’s a huge boon for your print subscriptions.

Your subscription page should always offer a variety of options and levels of subscription: digital only, digital and premium, or digital and print.

Priced correctly, this strategy can actually convert your digital readers to include print as well. That’s what Modern Drummer Magazine did. When the time comes for their digital readers to subscribe, most of them are choosing to include a print subscription as well.

“Our last figures showed the print outperforming the digital [only] 4 to 1,” says digital director Miguel Monroy. “People figure it out on their own and usually choose the print option.”

Want to learn more about optimizing your digital sales funnel? Let’s chat.