Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brilliant Zinio, Breathtaking Magazines

We may not have direct mail sweepstakes from Publishers' Clearinghouse, but we do have email from digital/interactive publisher Zinio. Last year, I regularly received marketing emails from Zinio and I didn’t mind. Most of the time I deleted, but every now and then I’d open and be amazed what a great marketing tool these “free magazine articles” were.

Last summer, for example, the Zinio Daily Spotlight focused on “Water,” followed by a few thirst-inducing statistics:

• 100 gallons – amount of water the average American uses per day, enough to fill 1,600 glasses
• $600 – amount the average home spends annually on energy to heat water.

What did these striking statistics come from? I had to find out, so I clicked “read it.” That’s when I learned that all these tips were in the “Green Home Guide” issue of Popular Science. I realized I don’t know much about science, popular or otherwise. I should. Why don’t I?

Zinio did this to me often. In myriad ways, this digital company reminded me of the value and expertise found in magazines, whose editors and writers know oodles about their topic areas. Besides, most any magazine is just plain joyous to look it.

Zinio seems to be marketing differently now. I don't get any more Daily Spotlights or "read it" emails. (Okay, I didn't subscribe to anything, so that's fair enough.) Also, on Zinio's website, I notice that much of their advertising today is aimed at iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and other mobile readers. If digital downloads will save magazines, that’s a good thing, though I, personally, would miss the feel of glossy paper, the vibrant color, and the whoosh scent of a printed magazine.

Meanwhile, it's fun to cruise around Zinio’s website and peek inside contemporary publications like SPIN and T3, if for no other reason than to check the hip graphics and page layouts. It’s even a treat to sift through the titles of magazines still in print.

Long live magazines!

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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