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Digital Magazine Ads Drive Sales

Magazine advertisements drive consumer response, regardless of medium, but ads in digital publications are especially successful. According to research published by GfK MRI Starch/Starch Digital 2013; ORC Caravan, March 2014; MPA Factbook 2014/2015, 53% of magazine readers made a purchase based on a print ad in their favorite magazine. The goal of advertising in any media is to get consumers to take action. 58% of magazine readers have looked for more information based on a print magazine ad, and that number is even higher (65%) for 25-34 year olds, which is a very sought-after demographic.

Because of the ever increasing ways that advertisers are trying to get attention, consumers are becoming harder to impact in a meaningful way. Magazine ad effectiveness, as measured by advertising recall, and consumer action after reading magazine ads speak directly to the trust that consumers place on magazine content, including articles, editorials and advertisements.

The digital magazine format is particularly suited for creativity in advertisements, including interactive components which increases creativity and the scope of ad campaigns, which in turn drives customers to engage and act. The more creative the offering, the better the recall and sales effectiveness.


The relationship between print and digital magazines is evolving to become a mutually beneficially paradigm. Print has traditionally been the jumping off point for customer engagement, and the print ads and content are now often the drivers for online searches and direct traffic to publisher’s websites and their digital editions. Magazines are in the top tier for driving online search. Across gender and age demographics, both digital and print magazines successfully drive consumers to search online, ahead of online media and word-of-mouth.

Digital magazine readers are comfortable with new technology are more likely to use the internet for shopping, search and information, blogging and social networking. They read digital magazines for lifestyle information and to keep up with their peers and influencers. Digital magazines prompt all kinds of online action.

Print magazine readers take the next step and use portable digital devices such as tablets and smartphones to extend their interactions by visiting a magazine’s website, where they read articles with additional content available in the digital format to clicking on ads or forwarding an article. It is estimated that nearly half of print readers go online to find more information about the advertising in their printed magazines.

According to the Magazine Experience Study, Sanoma Uitgevers, Time Inc., 2014, print magazine ads with URLs are significantly more likely to drive readers to advertiser websites across a variety of editorial categories. More than a 40% rise in web traffic after consumers were exposed to ads. In addition, QR code usage is increasing among readers 18-34 years of age, which is a perfect example of the evolving print/digital partnership. More and more print magazine advertisers are adopting action items such as QR codes, to offer readers compelling new interactive experiences that engage, educate and entertain.