Five digital resolutions for publishers

Many publishers will be looking over the precipice of 2009 with a certain amount of dread, given the dire projections for advertising – both on and offline.  Here are 5 digital resolutions that should give you a softer landing:

1. Look after your best customers

Find out who they are – loyal subscribers, prolific forum posters, frequent purchasers of reader offers.  Ask them their views about your media brand.  Offer them “money can’t buy” privileges – fame, access, insider info, special offers – and an opportunity to spread the word about your media brand to their friends and contacts.

2. Solve your customers’ biggest problem brilliantly

Work out what really bugs your customers – choosing the right piece of kit, booking the perfect weekend, finding a reliable supplier – and then create a tool, archive, or service to sort this out – better than anyone else.  Promote this on-page and on-line.  Monetise the traffic by selling a sponsorship for the tool or linking it to an allied purchase.

3. Grab every opportunity to collect email addresses

Offer value (info, services, offers) in return for valid emails.  Create an entertaining and useful e-newsletter, and add links for advertisers, subscriptions and other offers.  Build into a database for more targeted marketing.

4. Create your best ever subs offer and promote it remorselessly

Chat up your best advertisers for top-notch gifts, services and offers.  Make the most enticing financial offer you can afford. Take every opportunity in print, online and via email to tell all your readers and users about the offer.  Provide a sampler of the publication for those online who haven’t seen it in print.  Warn your subs house.  Track the responses carefully and repeat the best sources!

5. Partner creatively with your top 5 advertisers

Your advertisers are probably feeling the squeeze as well as you.  Pool resources by finding great offers they can make to your audience, and use your best editorial skills to introduce these to your readers and users.  If you can collect emails at the same time (see #3) all the better!

I’d love to hear your stories about putting these resolutions into practice.  Just click on the comment button.

Carolyn Morgan’s consultancy business, Penmaen Media, helps media owners grow their revenues in a digital world.  See for more info on how we can grow your business.