40pc of Men’s Health readers click through to a retailer's Web site
December 16, 2013
Men's Health Magazine
Rodale’s Men’s Health Magazine is continuing its efforts in mobile with new updates to its digital publication that have spurred high click-through rates.
The publication recently partnered with ShopAdvisor to make its content shoppable, and it has also added other features such as image sequences and a free preview function in iTunes Newsstand. Men’s Health publishes its digital and mobile offerings using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite.
“We want to deliver our products to our readers and fans wherever they are, whenever they want them — in both digital and print,” said Bill Phillips, editor in chief of Men’s Health, New York. “With 115,000 paid subscribers, our digital editions are a big and fast-growing business for us.
“More importantly, they're introducing new readers to our brand,” he said. “By the end of the month, we'll be on the Windows platform as well.
“We're always testing new features and new capabilities. Interestingly, nearly 40 percent of engaged readers clicked through to a retailer's web site.”
Men’s Health enhanced
Men’s Health is constantly working to provide a better experience for its readers.
The ShopAdvisor partnership helped bridge the gap between browsing and shopping. If a reader sees something he likes in the mobile publication, he can click on it to actually purchase it.
This takes away a number of steps that might have hindered the final purchase.
Men’s Health has also added more image sequences to interactive workouts to let readers pause the movements during any stage of the exercise.
Additionally, Men’s Health has leveraged one of Adobe’s features that lets new consumers access free previews before actually purchasing the magazine. When consumers download the Men’s Health app from iTunes Newsstand, they can immediately access sample content.
Then if they enjoy what they read, they can decide to purchase a subscription. This process simulates the act of browsing a magazine in a book store and then deciding whether or not to purchase it.
Another addition that Men’s Health recently made was producing eBook singles from two of its long-form features.
One of Men’s Health’s biggest challenges in mobile and digital is ensuring quality user experience.
“When we first began internal discussions about our iPhone edition, I was worried that the experience would be too overwhelming and cluttered,” Mr. Phillips said. “But the design team did a brilliant job simplifying the presentation.
“They've figured out how to take the tons of useful stuff in the magazine each month, add video and other interactivity, and present it on a 4-inch screen in a seamless way,” he said. “The navigation is very initiative. We're taking those learnings and applying them across all our digital products.”
A paywall from a free preview
Men’s Health is one of many publications leveraging Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite to digitize their content.
Adobe recently came out with new data from its offering and found that there has been a 115 percent increase in downloads of all DPS publications in the past year. Its apps also have three times as many unique monthly readers as last year.
Readers are also spending more time within DPS apps than within print publications. According to Adobe, they are spending an average of 50 minutes a month in a DPS app, compared with 40 minutes a month in a print magazine.
An infographic from Adobe
The key in translating print publications to mobile and digital, however, is taking the content to a new level as opposed to simply copying print content onto a new channel. Mobile allows publications such as Men’s Health to enhance their content with new features such as the ability to click-through to shop.
Mobile publications can also add social sharing directly to content as well as send push notifications to alert readers of new issues and bring them back to the app.
“This is one of the most powerful features because it keeps readers coming back,” said Bridget Roman, senior product marketing manager of digital publishing at Adobe, San Jose, CA. “It gives publishers the ability to alert readers when the latest issue is available, but they can also alert them to off-time news.
“Esquire has various tools and content that brings readers back on a consistent basis, and they’re integrating push notifications to do just that, alert readers, bring them back for articles,” she said. “We’ve seen Martha Stewart cross promote magazines, and if she has a new item available at home depot she uses push notifications to share that.
“They can send a message only to single issue subscribers to get them to upgrade to a full subscription- that will be coming soon. It enables publishers to do more specific targeting.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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