As one of the 10 key qualities that guarantee success in website design, reader management is certainly something to you want to set up right, from the beginning.
What exactly is reader management?
Generally speaking, it’s the mechanism that helps BtoB publishers identify and enhance the experience of readers logged into their site—whether from the back end or the front. But, more to the point: it enables you to increase editorial efficiency, expand what you know about your customers, and enhance reader engagement.
What are the qualities of a good reader management system?
Self-registration. As a publisher, you know that being able to capture data about your visitors is the key to understanding your audience and reaching them more effectively. Any visitor should be prompted to register on your website. This should be an easy process that feels organic to the reader and allows them access to your content (depending on your gating preferences).
Autofill. Any form a visitor fills out on your site should include autofill, to minimize the times they need to enter the same information.
Reader preferences. Along with basic registration, readers should have the opportunity to manage their own preferences and provide as little or as much information as they prefer.
Self-serve ads and classifieds. With the variety of advertising options you offer on your site, it can be a nightmare to manage. That’s why providing self-serve to your visitors allows you to automate your ad management and focus on other things.
Data compilation. Your site should be able to track all the data that comes through user management and organize it into useable information. This way, you can learn more about your readership and begin to deliver them more highly relevant, contextual content.
Purchase History. In addition to basic demographic data and registration details, you and your readers should be able to review past purchases, subscription status, downloads and similar indicators that will guide your design, product development and content marketing.
As you compile reader data and map information such as subscription topics to content taxonomies, you'll build in efficiencies to deliver relevant content tailored to the interests of specific readers. Integrating with your eMail Service Provider and Fulfillment system creates further efficiencies, as reader account data is synchronized with marketing lists and renewal campaigns without reentering data or managing separate systems.
These are just the basics of a strong reader management system. Keep them in mind when designing, or redesigning, your website!