All posts by Caitlin Shand

New Year, New Home

From Friday 23rd December 2016, the new home of the Pugpig London office will be 25-28 Field Street, Kings Cross, WC1X 9DA.

We are setting up a mail redirect service, but if you think something might have gone astray, you can contact us on the same number, 0203 405 5230, or by email,

In the meantime, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and we will see you in the New Year!



Pugpig wins at the Digital Magazine Awards 2016!



Last night the Pugpig team attended the annual Digital Magazine Awards at Proud Camden Gallery and came home with a shiny new award to add to the collection. In a brand new and hotly contested category, Pugpig was named the DMA Platform of the Year, 2016.


And as if that wasn’t enough, our customers also had a fantastic night, with Porter Magazine picking up Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, The Edit winning Innovation of the Year and Motor Sport bering Highly Commended in the Motoring category.


As 2016 begins to come to a close we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year our best yet. With our exciting new product launch just a couple of weeks away, we fully expect to come back next year powering even more awards for our customers!


Watch this space for more news in the coming weeks…


Pugpig now powers all of Hearst Magazines UK titles!

elleKaldor is celebrating the migration of all Hearst Magazines UK mobile apps from Adobe DPS on to the Pugpig platform. This momentous migration, completed in less that two months, features some of the country’s most prestigious magazine titles.

Having worked with Kaldor since the digital launch of Reveal in 2013, Hearst decided earlier this year to migrate its entire portfolio of digital publications to Pugpig. This decision came as part of a broader programme of change aimed at streamlining its editorial systems and processes.

Since November, household titles such as Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Esquire, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Harpers Bazaar, and Jamie Magazine are all available on iOS, Android and web, powered by Pugpig.

After having worked with Hearst for a number of years, it is a great privilege to take on the entire Hearst Magazines portfolio. With Pugpig, we’re committed to helping forge the future of mobile publishing, and we’re excited to work hand-in-hand with Hearst to evolve these amazing brands into something really special over the coming years – watch this space!


Pugpig Pointers: Background Downloads

Pugpig Pointers is a series of weekly tips, tricks and tutorials on how to get the most value from your apps, delivered straight to your inbox and to the Pugpig Post.

Last week we covered how to add interactive elements to your apps with puzzle integrations. In this final week of our Discovery and Engagement series, we are covering the ways you can make the most of your app’s publishing model to engage readers with your new content through background download and push.

Different modes of publishing:

Depending on your publishing frequency and style, you can decide to post periodic editions, have a continuous feed to keep readers up to date with news as it breaks or bring the two together through a mixed-mode app. You can read more about our mixed publishing mode here. Whatever publishing model you follow, there are plenty of ways to ensure that users know when you’ve posted new and exciting content and can access it seamlessly. You can start by enabling background downloads to ensure that all your new content (editions and articles) have loaded by the time users receive a push notification driving them to your material.

What are background downloads and how do you use them?

By sending a  silent push notification, which contains no message or sound, you can deliver new content to the app without users having to manually update your feed or download new editions. You can schedule these pushes to happen at optimum times for background downloads to carry through, for example in the early hours of the morning and when a phone is connected to Wifi, to ensure that your app carries out background updates without disturbing your users. You might then post a local notification when you’ve finished downloading or processing the new content. This means that all your new data will have refreshed by the time the app is opened, creating a seamless journey for your users straight into your new content, meaning that it can be ready to enjoy for offline reading on a morning commute.

As a content owner, you have the ability to schedule your background push directly through push providers, but we’ve made sure to enable scheduling directly through Pugpig Distribution Service too for Urban Airship users, and customers using Firebase can send message or background pushes straight from our dashboard. If you want more information, feel free to email us.

In order for this to work users need to have opted-in to push, and we’ve covered how you can ensure users accept push notifications in our previous pointers.

What your users should know:

First step is to ensure your users are aware of their Background App Refresh settings and this additional benefit of opting-in to push notifications. Consider adding it to your welcome screens or your push permissions pop-up.

You should also let your readers know that they don’t have to compromise available memory on their devices by enabling the automatic downloads. With the new 1.9.0/1.10.0 update, users have the ability archive an edition directly from the store front by long holding on the cover. Another piece of information you might want to include in your welcome screens.

They should also know about the new automatic archive settings we have added in Settings > General where users can choose for editions to be auto deleted if they have not been read for certain amount of time and the time periods are configurable. We have also given users the option to receive background downloads only when connected to WiFi through their Automatic Download settings.

Do you want to know more?

To learn more about deep links, and all other topics covered within our Distribution and Engagement Series, register for our Pugpig Pointers Workshop taking place in London from 2 – 5pm on Thursday 10th November. 

If you want to stay ahead of the game, download the Pugpig Post app to access all of our weekly top tips throughout the series.

So far in Pugpig Pointers Series 1:
Part 1: Increase your apps visibility across stores through App Store Optimisation 
Part 2: Create effective welcome screens for your new users
Part 3: How to use deep linking in your direct mail
Part 4: Use social media seeding to reach brand new audiences.
Part 5: Push notifications and background download
Part 6: User sharing
Part 7: Puzzles



Pugpig Pointers: Puzzles

Pugpig Pointers is a series of weekly tips, tricks and tutorials on how to get the most value from your apps, delivered straight to your inbox and to the Pugpig Post.

Last time on Pointers we covered how user sharing can help spread your content and increase chances of converting users into subscribers. 

How can puzzles add value to your digital editions?

Adding interactive elements like crosswords, sudoku, code words and word searches can help you to create a compelling app that can generate a deeper level of engagement with users.

Compared to any other pages, ones with puzzles have the longest dwell time. This increases the overall session duration and contributes to more in-app activity. Offering puzzles is a great way to hook readers, they are enjoyable to play, giving the reader a reason to form habits and return to your app more regularly.

You can also use puzzles as part of your marketing campaigns and integrate them into any competitions you run. Over a million people take part in competitions every year, 34% via digital. With the use of push notifications, you can alert users when new puzzles have been posted and ensure that they interact with your app in return for great rewards.

We have a webinar! Watch ‘Delivering puzzles to apps for deeper user engagement – in association with Puzzler Media’ by following the link.


Well, we have clients who choose to build their own HTML puzzles, some examples being The WeekFirst News and Chemistry World. Alternatively you can integrate with our partner Puzzler, like the Telegraph and Metro apps.

Puzzler is the UK’s largest puzzle supplier, delivering bespoke puzzles to national and regional newspapers and consumer magazines. They have a fantastic offering across print and digital platforms. We offer an integration with the Puzzler SDK through our Distribution system which makes it easy to include digital puzzles with minimal work required from your editorial teams.


  • * Crosswords, Wordsearch, Sudoku, Slider, Jigsaw puzzle options
  • * Fully responsive puzzles that have been optimised for mobile play
  • * Local storage, which means users can return to continue playing your puzzle/game where they left off
  • * Extras like puzzle hints, progress indicators and reward messages


Make sure to contact and we’ll tell you  a bit more about how puzzles can work and can put you in touch with the right people at Puzzler.

So far in Pugpig Pointers Series 1:
And don’t forget, if you want to receive Pugpig Pointers directly to your inbox subscribe to our mailing list. Otherwise, you can keep up to date by downloading our app, The Pugpig Post.

NOTION latest glossy mag to launch using Pugpig

notion-blogWe’ve got another exciting magazine app to add to our ‘powered by Pugpig’ list. NOTION, where music meets fashion, is a quarterly magazine with over 250 pages of the best in music, fashion & culture and they have just launched their digital edition!

Packed with stunning imagery and in-depth tutorials, the new NOTION app dives into the lives of exciting new designers and artists and their digital-only content ranges from gorgeous fashion editorials to exclusive interviews.

The fully responsive app looks great across mobile devices, and is a great addition to their print edition with exclusive video content and bonus imagery in each issue. Expect their sleek and vivid aesthetic mirrored in the design of their app as they make great use of features such as in-app image galleries and video content using Pugpig’s edition based publishing model.

NOTION is available to download now on iOS, Android from Google Play and web!


Pugpig nominated for ‘Platform of the Year’ at DMAs 2016


With five weeks to go until the Digital Magazine Awards 2016, the finalists have been announced…

The DMA’s are an independent award celebrating creativity and innovation in the international digital publishing sector, and we’re proud to see some of our clients up for notable awards. Net-A-Porter are up for Fashion Magazine and Lifestyle Magazine of the Year with The EDIT and PORTER magazine, whilst Motorsport, Travelzoo and Mothers Union are up for Launch of the Year. On top of this, Metro have been shortlisted for News and Business Magazine of the Year, and DARE has been shortlisted for the Customer Magazine of the Year award!

Oh, and did we mention that Pugpig has also been shortlisted for Platform of the Year? You can see a full list of the finalists here…

The Awards Ceremony will take place 29th November 2016, 6.45pm in London, where the winners will be announced.


MotoHead Magazine launches brand new app with Pugpig


Kaldor is delighted to announce that Parabola Media Ltd have launched a brand new app, MotoHead Magazine, using Pugpig, and it’s now available on iOS, Android and web!

It’s the world’s first free premium motocross and enduro magazine app, delivering an interactive user experience where you can browse free editions whilst shopping the freshest new products for bikers. Need we add that it’s fully responsive?

Their monthly magazine includes unique inside access to the top pros, the latest bikes and kit, and the best advice on your own local racing and bike issues. Check out their features for interviews and analysis on dirt bike action, or the ‘Real Dirt’ section for tips and tricks of the trade.

Make sure to download the app to get the freshest dirt bike action, available on Apple, Google Play, Amazon and web!


Pugpig Pointers: Push notifications and background downloads


Previously in Pointers we’ve covered getting users to accept push notifications, now let’s discuss the many ways you can use push to boost your user engagement.

Push notifications pop up on a user’s device informing them of content updates or other information regarding your app. These can be sent at any time to users that have the app – but the user doesn’t have to be in the app to receive them. In this post we will explore different types of push notifications - how and why you should use them and the overall aim of increasing engagement in your app.

Before sending any push notifications you should first establish your goal in terms of sending the message – it should be concise, timely and primarily relevant. There are some great tips from our partner Urban Airship here.

PugTip: Avoid spamming your users with too many messages as this will result in them opting out of push notifications altogether.

Drive users to new content

One of the primary motives behind sending push notifications is to alert users to new content available in your app.

To achieve this, you can use a basic message push that includes highlights from your latest content drop. This might include your top headlines or the theme of that edition.

PugTip: Don’t include your app name or icon. The system automatically shows this information at the top of each notification.

By sending push notifications when new content is available you are also educating users about your publishing cycle, alerting them when to expect new content and hopefully encouraging them to return to the app at these times.

Highlight particular content in your app

To highlight a specific article in an app, include a ‘deep link’ in your push message. When a user clicks on the push notification, they will be taken into the app – to the selected article.

This is a great way to drive engagement to particular content. More information about sending deep links can be found in our docs.

PugTip: Deep links can be used in conjunction with segmented audiences to make your pushes particularly powerful. For instance, you might send a deep link push to a story about sport to users who you know regularly consume sports content within your app.

Encourage loyal users to subscribe

Push notifications can be used to drive further engagement with your app. For example, include deep links to subscription or login pages to encourage users to sign up. In this case, target segments of users who have already demonstrated a high level of engagement with the app, meaning they’ll be more likely to sign up.

Re-engage users

Most push providers offer the ability to send a push message to app users who have not been active for a set period of time.

You can also use in-app messages to engage users who have not accepted push. This is a great way to reach users who opted out of push notifications and could even persuade them to re-enable them.

Tailor updates to users’ interests

You can use push notifications to ask your users what they want to see. Within push notifications you can offer users the ability refine their push settings – opting in and out of certain topics.

PugTip: While you are experimenting with push you can use A/B testing to send variants of different messages to different users in order to work out which messages are most effective in terms of open/click through rates. This will help you to tailor your push message strategy going forward.

We currently have Urban Airship and Appboy integrations, and we’re working on Firebase.


Pugpig Pointers: Seeding content on social media

pugpig-pointers-discovery-and-engagementPugpig Pointers is a series of weekly tips, tricks and tutorials on how to get the most value from your apps, delivered straight to your inbox and to the Pugpig Post. Last week, we explored the ways in which you can use your Share URLs to deep link content from direct mail to your app (see last week’s Pointer).

We want to ensure that you are making the most of all the app discoverability features we have on offer through our sharing framework. Seeding and sharing your content across social media is a fantastic way to reach brand new audiences and we’ve optimised the journey for new users when they first discover your content and also for existing app users who may follow your content across other channels. The use of smart banners encourages readers to install or return to the app, as well as go on to read more content with deep links in the app. Here are a few things you will need to bare in mind when seeding content on social media…



We’ve made it easy to use Share URLs for your Pugpig content across all your marketing communications. These will help drive users back into your app so make sure your marketing team know where to find them (in the Pugpig Distribution Service) and are using them. 

One of the many benefits of using Pugpig Share URLs is that we’ve handled all the meta-data needed for sharing to various social media platforms, this takes care of what is shared and how it is formatted, so you don’t have to!


Not only is it important for you, as an app owner to share your content, but you should also encourage your readers to share your content to increase visibility of your brand across social media. You can choose where your app’s ‘sharing’ icon is placed in the toolbar and adjust the order of the icons and decide what sits inside or outside of the toolbar overflow panel (more information here). We recommend placing it outside of the overflow bar in both mobile and tablet, to encourage readers to share.



There are several factors to consider when thinking about how to optimise your social media sharing, such as optimal time to share or tone of voice. Be platform specific, so include calls to action such as liking, commenting, or retweeting, where appropriate for the platform.

Seeding content on social media channels for the desired level of impact can be achieved by following a few steps. Keep it as simple as putting yourself in the shoes of the audience: how likely are you to be scrolling through Twitter feeds on a Friday evening? Statistics show that seeding content on a weekend give less desired results – try a Wednesday afternoon instead for optimal impact. On Facebook, links posted from 1pm to 4pm result in the highest average click throughs.

If you offer paid content you can still have a sharing strategy around this by adopting a ‘first view for free’ approach: this is already offered as part of our Pugpig distribution service. Users would get to view the shared piece for free and the banners link them through to more content which is paid and can be shown with a paywall too. This should help tempt new readers into converting to paid subscribers.



To ensure that your social media seeding is as successful as it can be, you need to make sure that you track the analytics from your shares and learn from any trends you discover.

A great way to do this is through campaign tracking, which allows you to add a tracking code to a URL. Google Analytics offers campaign tracking which will work in Pugpig. By using their URL builder, you can track attribution in your GA dashboard, and add custom campaign parameters.Any visits that come through to that particular link can be monitored and you can gauge what sharing methods work well for you and your app.

To learn more about deep links, and all other topics covered within our Distribution and Engagement Series, register for our Pugpig Pointers Workshop taking place in London from 2 – 5pm on Thursday 10th November.If you want to stay ahead of the game, download the Pugpig Post app to access all of our weekly top tips throughout the series.