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Grow iPad app subscriptions. Start Bundling.

29 Feb 2012

Today's iPad magazine enthusiast is defined as someone who buys a magazine app twice a month and purchases an average of three apps per transaction and spends more than $10 per purchase. New data shows profiles of three types of users that consumer marketers and audience development professionals should be developing specific strategies for.

• New Users: someone recently purchased an iPad and is loading up on apps to see what they like
• Magazine Enthusiasts: someone who buys a magazine app at least twice a month
• iPad Zealots: someone who has two transactions a month of $20 or more

A dataset provided exclusively to eMedia Vitals by eDataSource provides a unique look at the purchasing habits of anonymous individual consumers from Aug. 12 to Oct. 31.

While nearly one-third of all iTunes transactions involving a magazine app were less than $5, over 48 per cent of transactions were for more than $10 and consisted of more than 3 apps. The price per app in transactions of $10 or more jumps considerably, demonstrating less price resistance than the casual buyer.

Bundle related magazines apps into a single offer

According to the data, the more apps purchased, the more paid per app. Users who buy multiple apps at one time are less price-sensitive than the one-off casual buyer. This suggests that publishers should consider bundling multi-brand subscription offers to iPad users or cross promoting quickly after a single app purchase. This can be accomplished in one of several ways:

• Using the app's push notifications to suggest a purchase
• House ads cross promoting other brands with a link directly to the brand in the app store
• Using an existing circulation and fulfillment service to create a multi-brand iPad subscription offer (which could also offer print)

Reach out to related non-magazine app providers for bundles

Remember the old Sports Illustrated TV commercials? You get a one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated, the Swimsuit Issue, a calendar of your favorite team, and the football phone! One of the key characteristics of the Zealots category is that they buy expensive apps like NHL GameCenter at the same time that they buy GQ.

Use this same strategy to test bundles of your brand with other non-magazine apps. Use Google Ad Planner or Quantcast to find sites and users interests of your audience. You can see on GQ's Google Ad Planner profile that their readers 15x more interested in Deadspin than an average Website. So, partnering with top-selling sports apps on some bundled offers might reap rewards.

Targeting new iPad users can increase app sales

The data also suggests targeting new iPad users, as they make large purchases right away. While we have not been able to identify a telemarketing or email list of new iPad users, we have seen some successful strategies that can be employed here.

The New York Post's iPad marketing is one to use as a model. They intercept any iPad browser attempting to access, and they redirect them to an iPad offer. Initially, it was an interstitial, but today you have to subscribe via their app in order to access their content on your iPad. This tactic can be modified easily, and it can at least target iPad users who are new to your site.

1. Develop three offers: a single brand offer, a multi-title bundled offer, and a choice between a bundled offer or a single brand
2. Test the single title subscription offer and the choice offer to returning iPad visitors
3. Test the multi-title bundled offer and the choice offer to new iPad visitors

Targeting new iPad users, enthusiasts and zealots with customized offers ensures your brand won't be so reliant on Apple's Newsstand for app discovery and increases your yield per transaction.

Source: emediavitals

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