Using Clickstream Strategies to Launch Startup Magazine Operations in Our Hoods

If you want to launch a new magazine to the urban market, you are going to have to think different and use the latest technology. Over here, me and my people are going to launch a magazine called HustleSpace that will be the first real attempt at covering business and entrepreneurship for brothas and sistas in a magazine format. We already created our strategy for success and working hard around the clock, literally. In this article, we are going to share our magazine marketing strategy with you and discuss a concept called click stream to help you cats launch your magazine in the hood. You brothas and sistas are at a strong advantage to take out these lame Black magazines that are on some straight garbage and elitist crap. Existing Black magazines are scared to death because to be honest, you cats can come into the picture at a lower cost and maintain a lower cost of operation than them and still get the same amount of revenue, if not more than existing Black magazines. However, you have to launch your magazine smart and avoid having a high overhead cost of printing too many unsold magazines. So you have to think different and apply new techniques such as incorporating a clickstream strategy. What Is a Clickstream? A clickstream strategy is using interactive technology to track the flow of customers as they move along the sale process of doing business with you. For example on the web, you can view the stream of people who clicked on your advertisement, clicked on a product on your e-commerce site, clicked on the checkout button and click the order button. As you observe your customers clickstream actions in real-time, you make adjustments to your sales strategy to maximize profitability and cut your losses fast. This is the clickstream strategy you will apply to your magazine launch in the hood. In our Shop Wall Star QR Shopping system, you will be able to view a click stream of number of scans for a poster you have out there, what products are being scanned and how many orders are generated out of those scans. That clickstream information gives you intelligence to know how to adjust your posters around town and what QR code products sell well and don’t sell well and make changes fast. Shop Wall Star clickstream feature will rapidly enable brothas and sistas to sell smart to the hood with real-time data and that has not been done before. Setting Up Your Magazine to Capture Click Stream Let’s talk about your magazine operation for a minute in terms of pre-planning and design. For HustleSpace, we will not initially create print magazines for sale on magazine racks because that is a hidden cost and too risky. Instead, what we will do with HustleSpace is send printed copies to hub locations in the hood like barbershops, tire shops, hair salons, dentist office or medical clinic and the public library in the hood. What we are aiming to do is have people read printed version of HustleSpace in a shared environment and drive them to subscribe to the PDF version delivered to their mobile device or desktop. So how do we accomplish getting customers from the print version in the hub location to our PDF version? We replace the UPC code part on the cover with a placeholder for a unique QR code that specify the location we sent that printed magazine. So if I sent a copy of HustleSpace to Nadia hair braiding salon, we will have a QR code embedded with a unique id for that hair braiding spot. So if someone want to buy the printed version, they scan the QR code on the printed magazine and now we begin the clickstream process from reading our printed magazine to buying the subscription to the PDF version. The Technical Setup When the customer scan the QR code, they are redirected to the HustleSpace web site and they see the option to subscribe to our digital version of the magazine and we will offer it through Amazon and iTunes and other places like a Google Play app or provide them with a PDF and email them that it is available for download. Remember that our goal is to drive subscriptions and make revenue for HustleSpace magazine, not just smile and say we got a magazine and all these people viewing our stuff and not paying for it. Let’s talk the technical on how to do this. The first thing we have to do is find the people who will receive a printed copy of HustleSpace magazine. We will attend conferences and trade shows and advertise to hub businesses in the hood to receive a free copy of HustleSpace to have in their store or dental office. There are other ways using public records to identify these businesses in the hood and we will send them a simple postcard to register their business at HustleSpace web site to receive a free printed copy. Now, the business will have a benefit because we enter the business information and their location in a database, probably a SQL Server database or it could be from Open Office or Excel spreadsheet a list of businesses – you have all these options to store the name of your businesses. Most of your cheap hosting web sites also have an open source CRM system you can use to manage both businesses and magazine subscribers but we will be just using a cheap $5/month GoDaddy site for the moment that will also host the web site. See, now that we got the location and the name of the business we sending our printed copies to, what we will do on HustleSpace web site is tell visitors where they can find a printed copy of HustleSpace and we will have on our web site Nadia hair braiding salon which is nearby or the Webster library near them in the hood. Now we are using our HustleSpace web site to help brothas and sistas find Black businesses in their community – go and ask Black Enterprise uppity behinds do they think like that when it comes to brothas and sistas helping each other do business among our people? Yeah, thought so. You don’t print the QR code on the magazine itself as it will be unique. You create a mail merge feature that print the unique QR code on the address sticker next to the business name and address you are mailing the magazine to. You create a unique id and these are called GUIDs and look like xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx in an alphanumeric format or something like that. In SQL Server, you just do NEWGUID() to create this unique number for each business address row. The unique GUID is what you will have embedded in your QR code. So when we print out Nadia hair braiding mailing label with her address on it, the QR code will be embedded with xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx and when the user scan that QR address, we log in our database the fact that customer scanned the QR code from Nadia hair braiding salon and that is how we begin our clickstream. Analyzing the Clickstream and Making Adjustments Now the goal of a clickstream is to help you understand how well your urban magazine is doing in terms of gauging attention and interests in subscribers. So you sit there and query your log database and noticed that you see 24 new scans from Nadia hair braiding the first week and then you check your subscription table and see 2 new subscribers came from Nadia hair braiding. Now, you know in real time that Nadia hair braiding is bringing business your way – and you know this in real time. Then you do another query and notice there are 7 other businesses with no scans at all in your database. Now, you can decide to follow up with the businesses to see if your magazine is still there or you can decide to cancel sending them any future print magazines and find more businesses to send your printed copy to in hopes of getting scans and subscription orders, that’s how you make adjustments in real-time. See, your startup magazine hustle is not at the mercy of distributors who just put your printed ish up on racks at Wal-Mart and Krogers and can give a damn if it sells or not. What you are doing is basically using the expensive printed version as a marketing tool in hub locations to drive sales to your digital version that has a higher profit margin and more people have mobile devices to read your magazine. And you are managing your magazine success in real-time using clickstream strategies. This is how we over at the 3rd Strategic Institute figured how to launch a hood-based magazine like HustleSpace in the 21st century and have no problem sharing this information with brothas and sistas. Other Ways to Get Customers into the Clickstream For your magazine operation, you can have multiple “click paths” to get customers into the clickstream towards buying a subscription to your hood-based magazine. In some ways, printed magazines are good because they are physical and real-world but you can also include other ways in your marketing strategy and let’s talk about them. Postcards/Flyers. The QR code that redirect customers to your web site can easily go on postcards and many cities have “street marketing teams” on Craigslist or a web site where they are in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and other areas that can pass out postcards on the streets to people passing by. You put in the name of that street marketing team, give them a unique GUID id in your database and you track how many people scanned the postcards from that street team. If the street team is generating clickstream activity, keep them. If that street team is not generating clickstream activity, drop them and find a new team and you got the data to make this decision in real time. Facebook/Social Network. You can create a Facebook page or Twitter feed or even a picture gram to highlight article previews. Social network users are redirected to an article preview or allow them to comment on the topic of the article you have in the magazine without reading the article. This is a way to engage people in social networks and they can convert into subscribers as a result. You can capture the referring URL by using the shorten URL services like bitly or whatever that stuff is or you can create your own unique code for each posting you create to know what is working and not working and make adjustments to your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Free Content on Other People Blog. Once in a while, HustleSpace will have our writers contribute articles to other blogs and in some cases, make appearances in video interviews with other bloggers and news cats and their blogtalk radio show on topics discussing the urban renewal, economic development and business models for the hood. What we will do is try to provide URL or any other information that can determine a clickstream. If we cannot get clickstream activity, we don’t work with those cats anymore and focus on working with people who can get HustleSpace magazine clickstream activity so we can drive digital subscriptions. Clickstream Encourage Continuous Improvement One of the biggest problems among African-Americans and the hood is we like to think of business and entrepreneurship as a one-shot success/failure and that is stupid thinking and negative. You be surprised when I first came around with Dream and Hustle and all these cornballs who were Black trying to say I will fail at this or that and it won’t work. See, these cats were negatively programmed to believe they will fail if they try and they stay on that paycheck job. Then what these negative Black folks do is they discourage others from trying and tell them they will fail. Many of you got a lot of family and friends who think like this and talk to you like this. In fact, Black Enterprise magazine talks this way all the time. We need to realize as African-Americans we don’t have a lot of scientific data when it comes to doing business and don’t have a lot of hard facts and numbers. We got too many people in the Black community talking out of their behinds with opinions and storytelling. The storytelling is when they say “I have a cousin who tried this and it was a failure because of blah, blah, blah” and that’s how Black folks talk all the damn time, trying to discourage you from your hustle. Dream and Hustle want to see you succeed and we need to be real about what it takes to succeed and the first thing that need to be establish is data and facts. The whole goal of this article is to help you brothas and sistas realize you need to launch your hustle with data and facts and learn how to revolve your hustle around real numbers so you can control your growth and make sure you succeed at what you do. A clickstream strategy is based on data and facts that you get in real-time and you learn to use those numbers to make adjustments or keep a good thing going – that’s how Black folks better learn how to do business in the hood nowadays. You succeed/fail only when you dealing with unknown variables like gambling and throwing dice and stuff like that, making a crap shoot. When you launch your business as a brotha or sista, you focus on continuous improvement using data and facts to help you make business decisions to cut your losses and expand on discovered opportunities. In the magazine game, it’s too much unknown out there and establishing a clickstream strategy to get people to your digital subscription is the best strategy you got going for you to manage your way to success without wasting time and money on worthless activities. Let me say this before I go and make this cheap shot – a lot of you “natural hair” sistas on Facebook and blogging and on Youtube and ish are wasting your damn time and should have created a magazine a long time ago. I hope one of you sistas get it in your natural wavy curly head to create a magazine and use the same strategy I just discussed above that we will be using to launch HustleSpace to launch your magazine about natural hair, including you Gisella in the picture above, with your fine Brazilian self.

5 thoughts on “Using Clickstream Strategies to Launch Startup Magazine Operations in Our Hoods

  1. Excellent post, a fresh perspective and whole new approach to a magazine business or any kind of subscription oriented businesses and thanks for the footnoted advise. I’ll be sharing this article with a few people including a group of top notch sistas, here in my town, who bring a lot of creativity & beauty to sistas & brothers, who enjoy the freedom of being thru deciding to “go natural” or already wearing their hair natural. Thanks for posting this one.

  2. Im already on it Ed…im launching RoleMODEL using the “natural” look with your same Hustlespace strategy. I look forward to putting in the work.

  3. Man I went back and read that article again. This can be started for literally pennies. How do you come up with these ideas bro ? Is there a more automated way to take care of the sql database ?

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