What You Can Learn from Magazine Publishers

You’re foolish to think magazine publishers are making money on a $5.95 magazine. I can promise you, they’re not. It’s what we like to call a lead magnet. Another term Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher refer to it as is… a trip wire. It’s that initial (usually a low dollar) sale to get someone into your funnel… then you sell them more stuff.

I subscribe to a number of different magazines. Some for pleasure, some for business and some for research. They range from Entrepreneur to Wired to Mother Earth News to Grit to Backwoodsman to Macworld.

How Magazine Publishers Make Money

The all to obvious answer is… advertisers. Yeah, no kidding. They will take as much money as they can from the big dumb companies. A lot of the independent publishers stop here though, leaving a bunch of money on the table.

A few of the bigger publishers realized the hardest part in this whole process is finding the people interested in their topic. Once they had them, finding more stuff to sell to them was effortless and extremely profitable.

Here’s what I mean…

Macworld Knows What’s Up

I subscribed to Macworld no more than a month ago (I just got a Mac in May). Since then, on almost a daily basis, an email arrives in my inbox promoting a “Mac related” product.

Very few of these products actually belong to Macworld. I’m sure they’re getting a cut of each sale or at least those people are paying for a solo email to be sent on Macworld’s behalf.

Look at this email I got today (email 1 of 2 from Macworld today)…

Macworld email

This particular email consists of 7 or 8 different digital guides all related to Macs or Apple products. What’s important is this, they know their customer. They know who they are, what they like and what they spend their money on. All hugely important stuff to know when you’re in business.

Check out email 2 of 2 that I received from Macworld today…

2nd Macworld Email

I’m actually gonna buy this offer for the CleanMyMac 2 app. I’ve been looking for something like this for a few weeks now. This is not Macworld’s product. It’s a product by a company called MacPaw.

After about a minute of research I found they have an affiliate program… and a pretty good one at that. Pays 35% commission starting out. CleanMyMac 2 is selling for $28 (after the 30% discount) so that’s about a $10 commission. Not bad since Macworld isn’t handling anything after the  sale.

Magazine Publishers Are Secretly Rockstar Affiliates

I’m serious. Think about it. What I just shared with you above is nothing more than a good affiliate marketing business. They attract targeted prospects and offer them products they know they’re interested in. Affiliate marketing 101.

Even thought the majority of the stuff they’re promoting is under $10, I can bet you they get a bunch of people taking them up on these offers. The digital books I mentioned above are all around $3-$5 and are sold in iTunes.

The Moral of the Story

What I want you to come away with here is this… it comes down to attracting a specific person, making them a small offer (a tripwire) and putting them into your sales funnel where you can sell them more related stuff.

What I didn’t mention yet, that’s extremely important is, you gotta give them value. TONS and tons of value. Macworld’s magazine delivers value for them. Their content is world class and I’ll look forward to receiving it each month.

They’ve earned my trust and attention. Now, when they send me an email, I at least look at it… and in some cases, like today, I give them more money.

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  1. Dima says

    Nicely put article. You’re absolutely right, why not learn from the guys that have been in the advertising industry long before the internet was invented! Just found your site through WarriorForum and I’m new to the making websites arena, but I’m looking forward to gobbling up all the info you have here. Thanks!

    1. Duston McGroarty says

      Thanks Dima, I appreciate the kind words!

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