Once a month we invite our Patrons, magazine publishers and enthusiasts to guest-edit our fortnightly email newsletter. The aim is to inspire others with magazine-related content, connect Patrons and build our community so we can learn from each other.
This month our guest editor is Christy Page, Sponsorship & Operations Director for Mequoda Publishing Network whose publications include Food Gardening Network, GreenPrints, I Like Knitting, I Like Crochet, and We Like Sewing. She is the first point of contact for business partners including sponsors, affiliates, and publishers. Christy also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Mequoda Daily. She spends her spare time playing with her dogs, crocheting, planning (and sometimes even going on) trips. Christy is on LinkedIn – remember to connect and say hello!
What’s on your mind?
My major focus right now is expanding our partnerships with a variety of programmes including sponsorships, affiliates and most recently email exchanges. We started doing email exchanges at a low level about 8 months ago. It quickly took off in popularity and the results were much stronger than we initially expected. We are now finding that the greatest contributor to our subscriber base is the various email exchanges that we perform each month.
What’s the best article you’ve
read this month?
Mr Magazine’s article The Old Farmer’s Almanac, The Little Engine That Could And Would has to be my favourite. First of all, I am from New England, so anything that was started in or focuses on this area will definitely catch my attention. That being said, this is a publication that has been around for over 232 years which is very impressive. They have only had 13 editors in this time frame which really accounts for its longevity and continuity. I definitely think that that is something to aspire to and this article really gives a good oversight into how they make this work.
Show us an incredible magazine cover
As several before me have done, I think I am going to have to pick one from our own publication, Food Gardening Network.
Part of my love for this cover is the two kids working together. Anytime you can get children involved in a hobby that can be sustained for the rest of their lives is a success in my books. Getting them involved in something that can also help to feed and nurture them is invaluable. The other reason why I love this cover is the timing. This is for our May issue and the promise of things growing and turning green after a long winter always makes me smile.
What’s your top tip for publishers?
Be willing to try new things, but test what you are trying to see if it works. When we first started our email exchange programme, it was a small part of our marketing plan. We were still primarily focusing on sponsorship and affiliate opportunities. We were thinking of using email exchanges when nothing else fit. Less than a year later and we have completely changed our outlook.
Email exchange is easily 80% of our partnership marketing with sponsorship and affiliate coming in behind that. We also started with the mindset that we needed to partner primarily with very like-minded (gardening) publications. We were proven wrong there as well. After lots of testing and tracking of engagement metrics we are able to see what types of publications work well for cross promotions. This includes the obvious gardening, cooking, and crafting lists with similar demographics and do-it-yourself lifestyles but also travel, health, and spirituality brands that also have similar demographics.
We continue to venture out and try new cross promotions while keeping a close eye on those engagement metrics as well as feedback from our subscribers.
Housty, we have a problem
What problem would you like our magazine consultant, Peter Houston, to solve in the next newsletter?
My question is: How do you continue to grow marketing campaigns in an economy where most seem to be slowing down?
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