5 Marketing Strategies to Increase iPad Magazine App Subscriptions & Monetization
As a new Magazine publisher on the Apple Newsstand you may be wondering how to get new subscribers, furthermore, monetizing your iPad App magazine may not be as simple as you thought.
Here are 5 ninja strategies to get you on your way:
1. Offer A Free Magazine Issue Sample
This is a great strategy if you are relatively new on the market and you would like to increase your app discover-ability. The concept is simple – offer a free sample in hopes your readers enjoy your magazine and choose to buy additional issues or better yet subscribe to your iPad magazine app on a regular basis.
However beware; if you are publishing your very first magazine issue to the Apple Newsstand you cannot use this strategy. Apple does not allow you to have only one issue of your magazine and allow it to be downloaded free. You must have at least one paid magazine available before offering a free sample.
How to Create a Free App Magazine Sample
Build your magazine issue. Take the first article or few articles and give it away as a sample. For example, if your magazine issue contains 50 pages, provide the first 20 pages as a free issue or select your top articles to compile a special free issue, displaying your best content.
Include a Call to Action within your free sample enticing readers to subscribe to your full magazine edition and include a link to the magazine subscription on iTunes.
You may place this message in a welcome video within your free App Magazine Sample or include a teaser at the end of your magazine.
Create a special magazine cover for your free sample that includes an icon stating it is free to draw attention in the app store.
2. Publish A Free iPad Newsstand Magazine Monetized with Special Paid Editions
Another strategy to gain readership and subscribers and monetize your efforts is by providing a free magazine subscription. This may seem counter intuitive at first. If your magazine is free how will you monetize your app?
By creating a free subscription you can potentially get a large subscriber base and notify your subscribers about the special paid issue via push notifications.
Push notifications have much higher open rates than emails. Push notifications typically have open rates of above 90% compared to a meager 15-30% open rate for emails. This makes “free” subscribers with push notifications enabled valuable!
3. Free Trial – With Paid Auto Renewal iPad Magazine App
Providing a free issue of your magazine (as described above) is a great way to get people to try your iPad magazine app. However your main goal is to increase your subscriber base. For this you may opt to create a free trial for paid subscription auto renewal.
Essentially you are offering the reader the latest issue free and receive one month complimentary access for free.
The word free is very powerful! Once subscribed to the free trial the subscriber will automatically be auto billed for the rest of the subscription issues.
When setting up a Free Trial in iTunes connect, you will have the option to choose from a 7 day or 1 month trial subscription.
While your instinct may drive you to select the 7 day free trial, giving 1 month free access to your magazine will increase your subscriptions and reduce the number of cancellations from auto renewal; Simply because people will forget.
Clearly name your magazine subscription as a FREE Trial.
NOTE – If you want to change an existing Magazine subscription to free in iTunes connect, it will take a while for Apple to update all their servers for your free trial to take effect (usually up to 24 hours).
4. Offer A Paid Magazine App Subscription with 2 Month Free Trial
Taking advantage of the 1 month incentivized Free Trial for a paid subscription is a great way to gain readership. Offer an additional free month in exchange for your subscriber details. Essentially you are offering your reader a two month free trial to your magazine app.
You may be wondering how this can be accomplished. After all as seen in the image above Apple allows you to offer 1 month free trial. To allow people to get 2 months free Publisher of MakeAppMagazine built the following pop up screen funnel into his magazine app:
Once a person subscribes to the iPad magazine app free trial the user is prompted by an additional pop up message offering the user an additional month for free in exchange for their personal details such as a postcode and phone number.
Using this strategy MakeAppMag is opening the door to further monetization down the road.
The paid subscription will automatically renew at the relevant time period. The user can unsubscribe at any time (even after receiving 2 months free.)
Here is a video showing this strategy used by Make App iPad newsstand Magazine:
5. Introduce Scarcity to Your iPad Newsstand Magazine App – Limited Time Bonus / Edition / Package
Scarcity is a powerful tool for any marketing campaign. The minute someone sees a limited time offer they are more apt to get it now!
Offer a limited time bonus to anyone who subscribes to your magazine. Your bonus can be anything from a free product, service or even previous editions of your magazine.
People love to receive free products. Be strategic and get people to opt in to push notifications or your mailing list or get a free taste of additional services you provide.
Limited Time Edition
Introduce scarcity to your offer, Release an issue for a limited time. Everyone who is subscribed will get the issue and have access to it forever. For those who are not subscribed – can either buy it or subscribe to it.
You can also make previous editions available again for a limited time to motivate people to buy and become subscribers.
Limited Time Package
Time your free auto-renewal issue to include more than one free publication during the free trial period. This strategy allows you to increase the value of your offer and allows the reader to consume more of your magazine.