"We have long-time subscribers who enjoy the feel of the print product. But they also want to have it on their tablet, mobile device, or desktop," said Chris Coates, executive editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "Our readers want something that's delivered each morning that is easily accessible. We want a bridge to our digital product and website."
So when the Richmond, Virginia newspaper got the chance to switch to the new design for their digital replica, Coates' team eagerly adopted the change.
"Our goal for the upgrade is for it to be turnkey for sites," said Bridget Sibthorp-Moecker, director of audience for TownNews. "We want to give our customers the tools and flexibility they need to quickly and effortlessly deploy their e-Editions."
A feature-packed, turnkey upgrade
"This launch was very, very simple," Coates said. "The upgrade was well thought out, and TownNews was really great with the transition. The new design helps our readers navigate this important part of our product offering."
The all-new look for BLOX Live e-Editions offers several features that subscribers had been asking for. These include improved navigation, added icons for print and puzzles, a reworked live view, and an overhauled user experience.
Just as readers would cut articles and photos out of the newspaper, the e-Edition now features a clipping tool that allows readers to save or print. "There's kind of a keepsake piece to this that is sometimes overlooked. The ability to download and save clips is really important."
Seeing results from a cleaner navigation
"Richmond.com's e-Edition is performing even better than the other papers we've evaluated," Sibthorp-Moecker said. "Results show more readers are visiting the e-Edition, those readers are coming back more often, and they are reading even more pages!"
Results show more readers are visiting the e-Edition, those readers are coming back more often, and they are reading even more pages!
"The feedback I've gotten from our audience is that it's a lot cleaner," Coates said. "The print function is better, and it's much easier to navigate. Plus it exposes people to galleries, videos, and all of our digital assets."
Getting the word out ahead of the move
Before upgrading their e-Edition, Richmond.com took extra steps to promote the change that included an editorial column from Coates and posts on their social media. "Marketing is really important. We told our readers about the change beforehand so we were ready for the transition!"
Coates emphasized it's also important to expose your audience to your e-Edition platform. "I'm not sure a lot of people know what's out there," he said. "You have to tell them there's this way to see the newspaper in a digital format that's easy to navigate and flip through the pages. Make sure your audience knows it's available."
"Overall, we've gotten great feedback, and I'm happy," Coates said. "Plus, the relationship with the TownNews folks has always been great."