27 August 2009, MARKHAM, ONT.
The last in a series: Masthead
looks inside the toolboxes of five very different online-only publications to show you how they were built from the ground up. Today: Click! Weekly.
Launched in March 2009, offers news and trends about how to generate revenue online. The crux of Click! Weekly’s model is not the website itself, but the weekly newsletter sent out every Tuesday morning; the site itself acts more as an online archive and homebase.
The editorial blueprints: Click! Weekly has a staff of five: publisher, editor, designer and two salespeople. Editor Amy Bostock writes almost all of the (exclusively Canadian) content herself, covering case studies, profiles and product launches related to online business and marketing strategies. She has covered the recent hack-attack on Twitter, Air Canada's new iPhone application and a study on unsuccessful Internet searches. The e-newsletter also includes a section for business announcements about new hires and expansions, plus event listings.
“We look at the ways different businesses are integrating the online platform into their overall marketing plans, so other companies can see what people are doing in the industry,” she says.
The audience development blueprints: The people who opt-in to Click! Weekly’s e-newsletter tend to be business executives and high-up decision makers who are doing business online, says Bostock. Since March, the subscription list has grown to about 2,000, with an average click-through rate of 35%. According to publisher Steve Lloyd, the click-through rate is more important than unique site visitors, since the e-newsletter is the hub of the business.
Bostock also stays up-to-date and promotes the brand at a number of digital media events such as nextMEDIA Banff, the Search Engine Strategies conference and the University of Waterloo’s Canada 3.0.
The business blueprints: Click! Weekly is owned by Lloydmedia Inc., a Markham, Ont.-based publisher that also produces two print publications, Direct Marketing and Contact Management. Because of the company's preexisting operating budget, it didn’t cost much to start the new venture – mostly staffing, domain costs and trade show promos – and it doesn’t cost much to continue running it.
As a matter of fact, Lloyd says that for the first year, the publication isn’t interested in pursuing revenue, and is instead focused on first building the brand. What revenue it does make is about 85% from banner ads (from Yahoo, Cornerstone Group of Companies and the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit), and a small amount from Google ads.
“[Revenue is] not a concern… The mandate we have for the publication is to let it find its audience, reveal its place in the industry, while we tightly control the costs and build the brand by working with organizations in the online world,” he says.
The growth blueprints: In order to stay relevant in the online media world, the publication is putting together a series of reports and lists, starting with a list of Canada’s top online marketers. After receiving nominations from industry professionals, submissions were judged by representatives from both Lloydmedia and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The list will be announced on Sept. 29 in Click! Weekly's e-newsletter, Direct Marketing magazine and at IAB Canada's Mixx Event in Toronto.
According to Lloyd, one of Click! Weekly’s overall goals is to reach 3,000 subscribers by the end of its first year, in March 2010.