5 Strategies to Unlock More Digital Revenue

Every publisher knows that developing revenue from either the reader or advertiser side of the equation is critical for your growth as a niche publication. You must be flexible and adaptive to the quickly, ever-changing landscape of technology and market opportunities.

Here are five concepts for delivering digital revenue. Make sure they’re part of your larger overall revenue strategy.


1. Digital Sponsorships

Set your brand up with a unique competitive position when you package all your digital advertising opportunities together. Limit the number of digital sponsorship packages you sell each month to increase exclusivity and create a limited inventory. Prominently include your sponsors logos on every page of your site and your email newsletter, and divide up the other ad inventory evenly among the sponsors. I’ve seen publishers increase digital revenue by 50-200% in one year with this approach.

2. Inbound Marketing / Lead Conversion Funnels

You are uniquely positioned as the best inbound marketing agency in your market. But you need to take lead generation to the next level. Create a process for nurturing prospects that signed up for a whitepaper, ebook or webinar, to sales-ready leads who want to talk to your advertiser. By leveraging your existing content, audience, brand, and a bit of technology, you can turn a few leads into huge ROI for your clients and big profit for you.

3. Online Events

Looking to grow revenue and audience? Online events is the way to go. And we’re not talking the old “virtual event” concept. These are free, 1-2 day events filled with 8-20 on-demand video sessions. You can sell sponsorships and even upsell attendees access to on-demand recordings after the event ends.

4. Auto Renewal Reminders

Adding auto renewal reminders will dramatically save money on your circulation costs. If you’re controlled, start 9 months after a person’s last qualification date. If you’re paid, start 60 days prior to the subscription expiration date. Add a conditional block at the top of the specific reader’s email newsletter notifying them that it’s time to renew. Plus, include a similar conditional block or pop-up notification as they view your website. You’ll need just a bit of the right technology to pull this off, but it’s well worth the investment and can save significant money in your circulation efforts.

5. Programmatic Audience Extension Ads

Advertisers want to reach your audience on your website and email newsletter. But they also want to reach your audience when they visit programmatic networks like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and others. With the right kind of setup and knowledge, you can buy inventory targeted to your audience on these networks and resell it to your advertisers for 4-5x what you paid for it.


Editor’s note: Eric is leading a digital revenue session at the Niche Consumer CEO Summit in Charleston, November 12 & 13, 2019.



More about Eric: For the past 25 years, Eric Shanfelt has helped hundreds of consumer and B2B magazine, book, and event companies use digital strategies to build their businesses. He’s been the Chief Digital Officer for Penton Media, Interweave, Virgo Publishing, and HarperCollins Christian Publishing and has launched multiple, highly-successful, multi-million-dollar online businesses with advertising, e-commerce and subscription revenue streams. Eric focuses on proven, practical digital strategies to help grow your business. Get Eric’s email updates or connect on LinkedIn.


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