Tips for Developing Digital Editions
Publishers are introducing digital editions, among other things, to build international circulation, save on production costs, and offer subscription incentives;but there are a number of operational and execution issues to contend with. Institutional Investor introduced digital editions in 2005. Since then, the magazine's digital counterpart has grown 5 percent and now represents 7.2 percent of the magazine's circulation. Christina Vasiliadis, circulation director at Institutional Investor, offered these 12 tips for digital edition mastery at this year's Circulation Management Conference and Expo that took place in New York last month.
- Negotiate a contract with built-in cost-savings for growth.
- Check that the contract has a flexible get-out clause.
- Don't choose a vendor based on price alone.
- Get to know your rep;this relationship is important.
- Check the turn-around time to convert files into a digital product.
- Make sure the digital edition can be distributed faster than print.
- Make sure you reduce your print run accordingly.
- Educate ad sales on the potential impact for BPA statements.
- Clean e-mail bounces or switch the customer to print, immediately.
- Get your digital circulation pre-audited by BPA.
- Don't assume user-friendliness. Test the product from your subscriber's perspective.
- Identify the reports/data you need and check to be sure the vendor can provide them in real-time.
- Be sure to appoint a leader to your digital magazine initiative.
- Consider carefully whether you want to lock down the product behind a registration wall. If you do, it could be at the expense of exposure.