Web Publishing, Inc., has four on-line-only and advertiser-sponsored
magazines for technical and professional readers: NetscapeWorld, JavaWorld, SunWorld, and NC World. WPI is a division of IDG, the largest publishers of technical and professional magazines, with some 250 properties worldwide. Here’s Michael McCarthy’s “to whom it may concern” revealing how these gains were achieved.
We sought the help of Ron Richards’ ResultsLab after several months of stalled readership growth in one property, NetscapeWorld, which was undergoing a turnaround and relaunch. Ron’s initial work
caused an extraordinary 2.5x increase in pageviews for NetscapeWorld -- an increase that’s been sustained and even increased since. Here’s how:
Ron redesigned our cover, taking an innovative approach that was
a strong departure from both traditional magazine covers and other on-line magazine covers. The redesign made the covers more accessible and more immediate for busy readers. The result was an immediate 50% jump in the number of articles read per visit.
He wrote subscriber e-mail letters for us, to prompt visits to our site. The very first such letter pulled a far higher response than we’d ever seen.
The degree of the gain surprised everyone until Ron explained the dozen subtle reasons it worked so well.
He re-wrote cover lines, table of contents language, and article heads, decks, and summaries with
highly effective “grabber” language -- stimulating not only readership, but inspiring our own, initially skeptical, editors.
He was a constant source of ideas, uncovering missed bets and poison language or
graphics throughout the magazine.
He found ways to measure the cause-and-effect relationships, track incremental results, and uncover what works best -- working effectively with our insiders and
suppliers. The hard work he did analyzing our data files to find relationships and impacts was impressive -- and so challenging that we simply would not have gotten it done on our own.
He developed new
advertising to drive traffic to our site from search-engine ads, finding clever ways to triple the clickthrough rate.
As a result of his efforts, NetscapeWorld doubled, then doubled again in the course of
only a few months, the number of monthly pageviews delivered to readers.
Given the results he achieved for NetscapeWorld, I asked him to broaden his work to all four magazines.
In a series of workshops, he trained our editors and editors-in-chief on writing compelling grabbers, and high-response subscriber letters. He interacted with all 15 people via e-mail to support them, coach them, edit their work, and to develop the best next steps in training them. One unexpected gift from this process was an improvement in how editors manage their stories starting at initial assignment, where they now think of what kind of “grabber” head they’ll be able to write for the story.
Ron embodies an integrated combination of rare skills. He has an extraordinary command of psychological principles of persuasion, many of which he’s developed. He is also a consummate strategist,
copywriter, and researcher, an internet marketing expert, and a proactive project manager.
“ResultsLab” is the perfect name for his company because the guy lives for results -- to figure out what causes them,
and to continually increase them.
His commitment to the mission is 100%.
And he continually delivers more than he promises. He is both a constant innovator, and a supportive team player. His enthusiasm and energy, and his appreciation of the contributions of the team, won over our entire overworked, distracted group.
I don’t know of any agency or consultant with Ron’s skill at helping Web advertisers and publishers multiply their results.