Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of your Magazine

  1. Develop a short benchmarking questionnaire that measures readers’ responses to key things, like whether they have taken some sort of action as a result of reading the magazine, e.g. bought a recommended product, or made an enquiry. Insert the questionnaire into the magazine or ask readers to complete it online and track the response across a number of issues.
  2. Track the spend of magazine recipients versus ordinary customers. Try to measure where their magazine purchase fits in with their overall spend schedule: e.g. what day of the week they buy, and what else they buy with it.
  3. Have a micro-site for the magazine and ask readers to register online to receive exclusive information. Track the levels of registered users per issue.
  4. Allocate a unique phone number, email address or text prompts to the magazine and track the percentage of enquiries, orders and calls from the magazine, and particularly how many become new customers.
  5. If the magazine includes advertising, track whether there has been an increase in advertising revenue year on year. Note that this only works when the economy is stable!
  6. Reach out to well-known bloggers, writers and celebrities and ask them to write a feature. If mainstream high-profile writers are willing to write for your publication, it’s a sure-fire sign you’re doing a good job.
  7. Enter awards, e.g. The Magazines Ireland Awards, to see how you are doing against your peers. Don’t just enter the magazine itself, but your designer, editor, and other sub categories to identify what might be your publication’s strongest asset.
  8. When there is a demand internally (from other business units/ colleagues) and externally (from customers) to increase the frequency and print run, then this can be taken as one sign of success.
  9. Add a question about the magazine to other customer satisfaction surveys, e.g. Net Promoter Score studies that you currently do, or participate in an Omnibus study.
  10. Do focus groups to test advocacy with a group of magazine recipients versus non-recipients. Make sure to ask them specific questions, like for what purpose do they buy the magazine, and where do they read it?
  11. Monitor the level of response via reader engagement, e.g. emails, letters to the editor, participation in forums, number of competition entries.
  12. Keep track of opt-in levels.