What About Subscriptions?

A number of publishers have asked about the possibility of MagCloud offering subscription services.

While we don’t offer traditional subscriptions today, we do have many publishers using the “Ship to Group” feature which gives them complete control of their mailing list but leverages MagCloud for print management and global distribution.

These publishers offer subscriptions from their own website, place a bulk order on the MagCloud website and then use “Ship to Group” to manage the printing and distribution of their magazine to their subscribers.

Taking advantage of “Ship to Group” is very easy:

1. Create an address group in your MagCloud address book (Account>Address book>Add New Group). Name your group and select group members from existing recipients in your address book.

2. Once your recipients and group are ready, add the magazine(s) to your cart. Set the quantity to the number intended for each recipient, not the total for all recipients. For example, if you are sending 1 copy to 20 recipients you should set the quantity to 1.

3. When you get to the shipping page, click “Select from Address Book »”, choose your address group and complete checkout. That’s it! Costs will be displayed for the total order including all recipients.

If you have a large subscription list send us an email and we can upload the group list for you.

The publisher pays for group orders but they qualify for our bulk discount of 25% off the printing price when the order includes 20 or more copies of the same issue. Assuming you have 20 or more subscribers, this allows you to make more profit or offer your magazine at a lower price.

One other advantage that publishers find is that this model allows them to maintain a direct list of their subscribers’ contact information so they can directly contact them if desired and court potential advertisers since you have an accurate count of subscribers.

Most publishers who use “Ship to Group” also have a simple website to advertise their magazine and take subscriptions. They often put their website URL in their MagCloud magazine and issue descriptions so that if someone finds the magazine on MagCloud they can be pointed back to the subscription offering.

Publishers can also use the MagCloud “Follow” feature to let customers who follow them know whenever they have new issues available.

For publishers not able or interested in managing their own subscription orders and payment we would be interested in hearing what type of subscription service would be of the highest value to your magazine.  As you know there are lots of different subscription models, and when you factor in print and digital options it gets even more complex.  As MagCloud is a self-service content publishing platform, we have to look at base options that meet the broadest range of publisher needs.

We look forward to your feedback on what your top choice for a subscription offering would be.

8 thoughts on “What About Subscriptions?

  1. Sally Ford 4 Mar 2011 / 8:46 AM

    I think it would be a dream come true if my subscribers could directly pay MagCloud (base+markup+ship x 12)so they could be shipped out to those who have paid, automatically! This would increase sales and is a win-win for both publisher and MagCloud.

  2. Roy Sorenson / HOT CARS magazine 20 Mar 2011 / 11:52 AM

    I agree, although I would like to see a better rate for subscribers. I can think of two benefits here 1) you have a returning customer for 12 issues, and 2) MagCloud has more cash flow.

  3. jason stevens 21 Apr 2011 / 7:51 AM

    There is a huge gap in the market for a simple online subscription and renewal service, especially for DIGITAL distribution; nevermind print.

    Currently Zinio has the marketplace cornered as far as I can tell. True, Texterity, Yudu etc are not far behind them but finding a simple turnkey service to handle:

    Single issues
    1 year subs + auto renewals
    2 year subs + auto renewals
    Gifts etc

    This is market waiting to be LEVELED. You should do it! :) and soon, please. Forget Print in the first phase; concentrate on digital sub/ren fulfillment. You will win hears and MINDS.

  4. Rocket Dog (Ergo Proxy) 16 Apr 2012 / 12:21 AM

    I think ebook subscriptions would be great. It’ll help, instead of paying cover price for a bunch of e-issues, you pay a subscription price and maybe each new issue is auto-delivered to your app or you can download the issue.

  5. Christopher R. McGrath 5 Jun 2012 / 7:13 PM

    I agree with Jason please do this .. as soon as possible! It will help small publishers have the hope of gaining ground in the digital marketplace as we do not have funds to pay these software prices and need the ability to get a quality product out to the marketplace and try to gain traction. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

  6. Verdine Daniels 28 Jun 2012 / 3:03 AM

    I’d like to see a subscription model that offers a much lower price to normal pricing. Maybe a 10% to 15% discount on each issue for subscribers.

  7. Matchstick 10 Dec 2013 / 7:00 PM

    As far as shipping goes What do you do if you have some subscribers in the states, and some abroad? Does the shipping portion of the checkout recognize this?

  8. Chris 11 Mar 2014 / 6:12 PM

    I would require a subscription model that accommodates both print and digital. Affords a manageable subscription discount/promo system and has a built in function that send both a digital renewal reminder notice, as well as inserts a renewal notice into the shipping sleeve.

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