How to Determine the Purpose of Your Digital Magazine

It starts with a vision

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 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

Using your Magazine for 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 on 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

Digital 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 long reads

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

Other interesting reads


Why is defining the purpose of a digital magazine important?
Defining the purpose guides the magazine’s content, target audience, and overall strategy.

How does the intended audience shape a magazine’s purpose?
Knowing your audience helps tailor content to their interests and needs.

What role does content play in the magazine’s purpose?
Content is central to fulfilling the magazine’s goals, whether educational, entertaining, or informative.

How does the magazine’s purpose influence its design?
The purpose drives design choices to appeal to the target audience and support content delivery.

Can the purpose of a digital magazine evolve over time?
Yes, purposes can evolve based on audience feedback and changing market dynamics.

How should a magazine’s purpose align with its marketing strategy?
Marketing strategies should reflect the magazine’s purpose to attract the right audience.

What impact does the magazine’s purpose have on monetization?
It determines monetization strategies, such as advertising, subscriptions, or sponsored content.

How does technology choice relate to the magazine’s purpose?
Technology should support the magazine’s goals, whether through interactive features or distribution platforms.

What is the importance of competitor analysis in defining purpose?
Understanding competitors helps in identifying unique aspects for your magazine’s purpose.

How can feedback be used to refine a digital magazine’s purpose?
Reader feedback is crucial for adjusting and fine-tuning the magazine’s direction and purpose.

Author bio

Ritesh SheombarRitesh is a digital marketing manager with years of experience in driving growth. He’s currently the director of inbound marketing at Foleon. You can find more about him on his LinkedIn profile.

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