Daan Reijnders

Determining the Purpose of Your Online Magazine Is the First Step to Success

by Daan Reijnders

What’s the purpose of your digital magazine? People often tell me: “I create magazines to inform my customers”. Informing customers however, is just means to an end. If you haven't set a clear goal, you won't be able to create the right content for your magazine. I've written this blog to help you define a super clear goal.

Why is setting a clear goal so important?

One day somebody will ask you about your online magazine’s outcome. In other words, its ROI. You can’t get an ROI out of everything. I mean, what’s the ROI on your mother? How did her upbringing and education contribute to your success? It’s hard to track everything. That also goes for content. But… defining clear objectives will help when it comes to making better choices regarding your content and shaping your magazine, helping you to achieve an optimal result.

What are the objectives of your online magazine?

What actions do you want your readers to take after reading your content? To:

  • Buy a product?
  • Call for tender?
  • Subscribe for the newsletter?
  • Share their interests?
  • Give their opinion?


Set specific performance indicators

You can set KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, for every objective. A KPI is a metric used to determine how you are performing in relation to your business objectives. Track your KPIs in every publication and evaluate on a regular basis. I would like to give you some KPIs that you can use to measure your objective.


You want to sell products by accentuating their appeal. You can do this by telling the story behind your product/ brand, or by sharing customer reviews combined with offers.

Matching KPIs

  1. Revenue generated
  2. Amount of conversions
  3. Average cost per acquisition
  4. Indirect Sales

Lead generation

Your online magazine can inspire people to call for tender or subscribe to your newsletter.

Matching KPI’s:

  1. New subscribers for your magazine
  2. New followers on social media
  3. Number of conversions
  4. Average cost per lead (total cost/leads)
  5. Number of forms completed

Increase efficiency

You can approach your customers in a more cost efficient way by distributing an online magazine instead of mailing out 10,000 printed brochures. There is a small chance of people reading a printed brochure in the train or when waiting for the bus. With a responsive magazine, however, people have the option of reading it anytime and anywhere on any suitable device.

Matching KPIs:

  1. Total reach
  2. Average reading time
  3. Average reading time vs. actual reading time (on average, people read 200 words per minute)
  4. Average cost per recipient

Raise brand awareness/branding

You can inspire people with animated content. Increase your readers’ engagement and enhance their experience with rich and interactive content.

Matching KPIs:

  1. Unique visitors
  2. Amount of social shares
  3. CTR (Click Through Rate) from social media or email to your magazine

Make your magazine lucrative

Online magazine publishers generate revenue with ads and branded content. Of course you’ll also want to increase your readership. Online magazines enable you to specialize or create your own niche.

Matching KPI’s:

  1. Number of visitors
  2. Visit duration
  3. Clicks on ads
  4. Scroll depths on longreads

Develop a dashboard that works right for you. Don’t make it too complex. Present the results during the next editorial board meeting.


What tools can you use for tracking results?

There are different kinds of tools available. Our magazines can be integrated with Google Analytics. We also activate a couple of fully automated ‘events’. We keep track of your readers’ behavior with regard to scroll depth, social shares, outbound links, page swipes, click-throughs etc. Exporting reports is a piece of cake, and can even be set up on an automatic basis. What can you do with all this information?

You should use it to optimize your publication.

  • Would you like to generate more sales? See how you can optimize the Call-to-Try by using buttons instead of text links. Change the theme of your magazine. Use 'check availability' instead of 'book here'.
  • Would you like to have more social shares? Place a sharing element not only in the navigation bar, but also in the text of your articles.
  • Do you want to extend the reading duration time per page? Check what subjects and sections are popular and consider removing content. You might also consider reducing the size of your magazine and publishing it on a more frequent basis

Don’t try everything all at once, but take small steps and keep measuring! Would you like to talk about the possibilities? Get in touch with me by phone or email: +31 (0)20 303 2822 or daan.reijnders@foleon.com.

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Daan Reijnders
Daan Reijnders is the co-founder and CEO of Foleon, a content management platform that amassed 1000+ clients all over the world in under 3 years. He's a digital marketing veteran with years of experience in managing both SaaS companies and creative agencies.

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