Time Inc, parent of TIME Magazine and its related publications, wanted to reduce the cost of processing customer service paper mail. Could the Internet help?
Kelly Kubrick (formerly Cook) analyzed phone and mail customer service transaction volumes to identify which transactions were in highest demand. Cook then used the analysis to plan and launch thirteen websites in less than six months.
The results? In year one, the largest Time Inc magazine customer service web sites generated $1.7 million in cost savings and $1.1 million in incremental subscription revenue.
PEOPLE Weekly’s corporate parent, needed to find new magazine subscribers online. Kelly Cook developed and launched the Time Inc affiliate marketing network, leveraging third party web sites to generate new magazine subscribers. Cook selected a vendor to provide the infrastructure to automatically track and report on customer leads. Within months, over 50,000 third-party web sites had applied to sell on behalf of Time Inc magazines and generated $200,000 in revenue. Click the images below to see enlarged screen shots of the PEOPLE Weekly and Teen People programs.
PEOPLE Weekly Magazine Affiliate Program
Teen PEOPLE Magazine Affiliate Program
The advertising sales team at PEOPLE Weekly wanted to increase their interaction with potential advertisers. Could they do this cost-effectively online? Yes. Cook assisted PEOPLE’s planning and launch of “PEOPLE Pops!” an online sweepstakes and media kit.
In honour of its 25th Anniversary, PEOPLE Weekly offered its readers the opportunity to purchase more than 200 autographed celebrity photos. Those funds were then donated to the celebrities’ choice of charity. Could the Internet be used to sell even more photos? Yes – via an online auction. Cook approached Ebay and together with PEOPLE’s marketers, launched several auctions promoted on Ebay and People.com, and through the PEOPLE Daily email newsletter.
Screen shot of the Jennifer Love Hewitt PEOPLE’s 25th auction
Dr Weil.com wondered if consumers might purchase access to an online community of people interested in healthy living. Indeed they were – Kelly Cook developed the plan for the ‘8-Weekers” membership – a web site to support participants in Dr Andrew Weil’s “8 Weeks to a Healthy America” eating program. Within 48 hours of launch, the 1500 available memberships sold out.
Two web sites were created to accompany Dr. Andrew Weil’s best-selling book “8 Weeks to Optimum Health”. The first, a ‘free’ site, offered projects, diet and exercise items, supplements and mental-spiritual reminders for Week 1. In successive weeks, new pages were added to the site allowing users to guide their own efforts to follow the 8 Week plan.
A second ‘paid’ site allowed a users to follow Dr Weil’s program limited membership, closed-community, but nation-wide group (including the Ask Dr Weil staff and Dr Andrew Weil himself) of people seeking a healthier life. Together, these “8 Weekers” offered ideas, solutions and encouragement for overcoming the challenges of the program.
Consumer marketers at both Entertainment Weekly and Money magazines wondered if the Internet could be used to offer additional benefits to existing print subscribers. Cook assisted them in the launch of Entertainment Weekly’s Special Edition and also Money.com Plus – both offering premium content websites free to current print subscribers but requiring payment from non-subscribers.
Will people pay $500.00 for a content they can buy for $5.00 on the news stand?
After the annual release of the Fortune 500 magazine issue, Fortune Magazine noted that tens of thousands of digital versions of the issue had also been downloaded from Fortune.com. Did this mean that Internet users might be willing to purchase a digital version? Yes. Kelly Cook developed and launched The Fortune Datastore, offering digital versions of Fortune’s company lists:
By year three, the Datastore generated $1 million in incremental revenue for Fortune. Customers raved about the utility of the digital version, finding it an invaluable tool for market and sales prospecting analysis. Later, the model was replicated for Fortune’s sister magazine Asiaweek.
Will online magazine archives cannibalize my renewal rates?
Fortune Magazine was concerned that online magazine archives might cannibalize renewal rates of certain print subscriber demographics. Was an online solution available? Yes. Through a partnership with an online search technology firm, Kelly Cook developed and launched the Fortune Archives. These generated incremental revenue to the magazine through online advertising and online sales of articles to consumers:
Sports Illustrated’s “Insider Authentics” catalogue needed to sell the previous season’s merchandise before the new season began. Could a website help speed this process up? Yes. Kelly Cook worked with Sports Illustrated to launch TheUltimateLockerRoom.com:
Within three weeks, it achieved 100% ROI and set the stage for the roll out of three more Time Warner merchandise sites: Entertainment Weekly’s Studio Store:
and the Virtual Garden and The World Championship Wrestling (WCW) store.
See an example print advertisement developed jointly with Sports Illustrated and the ecommerce vendor:
Curious to know if it would sell online, The CNN/Sports Illustrated team identified spare photography and video footage from Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition. Together with CNNSI.com, Cook developed “Swimsuit Extra”, an e-commerce website offering exclusive access to the additional material. In year two, over 8,000 memberships were sold.