Useful, accessible information on circulation and audience development for magazine publishing professionals.
May 4th 2016
is the 125th day of the year and there are 241 days remaining until the end of the year.
TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES:
Donald Trump and Bernie Saunders won their respective primaries in Indiana; Ted Cruz dropped out of the race.
Eighty-thousand people in the Canadian city of Fort McMurray have been told to get out as a massive wildfire approaches.
Egypt's journalists' union has demanded the dismissal of the interior minister after two journalists were arrested at its headquarters in Cairo overnight.
All cigarettes across the EU will now have to be sold in standardized packets after tobacco firms lost their final challenge to tougher laws in Europe's highest court.
European Union countries that refuse to accept refugees under proposals to overhaul the EU's failed asylum laws could face large fines for each asylum seeker rejected.
Soap stars have paid tribute to the Brookside and Hollyoaks actor Kristian Ealey, who has died at the age of 38.
Sainsbury's has reported a fall in annual profits as the supermarket price war continued to hurt the retailer.
The world's most powerful atom-smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, has been shut down after a weasel chewed through its wiring.
Dozens of people have been killed in a day-long battle in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
1008 – Henry I of France (d. 1060)
1715 – Richard Graves, English minister
and author (d. 1804)
1767 – Tyagaraja, Indian composer (d. 1847)
1852 – Alice Liddell, English model (d. 1934)
1903 – Luther Adler, American actor (d. 1984)
1913 – Princess Katherine of Greece
and Denmark (d. 2007)
1921 – Werner Schumacher, German
actor (d. 2004)
1928 – Betsy Rawls, American golfer
1929 – Audrey Hepburn, British actress and humanitarian (d. 1993)
1936 – El Cordobés, Spanish bullfighter
1939 – Amos Oz, Israeli journalist and author
1940 – Robin Cook, American physician
1941 – George Will, American journalist
1952 – Belinda Green, Australian beauty queen and 1972 Miss World
1953 – Pia Zadora, American actress
1967 – Kate Garraway, English journalist
1967 – Ana Gasteyer, American actress
1976 – Ben Grieve, American baseball player
1978 – Brett Burton, Australian footballer
1979 – Lance Bass, American singer,
dancer, and producer
2014 – Dick Ayers, American author
and illustrator (b. 1924)
1984 – Diana Dors, English actress (b. 1931)
1970 – Victims of the Kent State shootings:
Allison Krause, (b. 1951)
Jeffrey Miller, (b. 1950)
Sandra Scheuer, (b. 1949)
William Knox Schroeder, (b. 1950)
1471 – Edward of Westminster,
Prince of Wales (b. 1453)
TODAY IN HISTORY: 1415 – Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.
1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales.
1675 – King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
1859 – The Cornwall Railway opens across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England.
1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.
1926 – The United Kingdom general strike begins.
1959 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.
1978 – The South African Defence Force attacks a SWAPO base at Cassinga in southern Angola, killing about 600 people.
1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord, granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
2000 – Ken Livingstone becomes the first Mayor of London.
2014 – Three people are killed and 62 injured in a pair of bombings on buses in Nairobi, Kenya.
AND ANOTHER THING! It may not be global warming... but something is going on. Click here to read.
May 4th - Day 125 of 366:
International Firefighters' Day.
NEW E-I-C AT ORGANIC LIFE.
Melanie Hansche has been promoted to the editor-in-chief position at Organic Life which says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post she has 'been running... on an interim basis since launch editor James Oseland resigned in March.'
Organic Life was Organic Gardening in a previous life and it is reported the magazine ' is still losing money' says Mr. Kelly. For more, click here.
GOOD NEWS... BAD NEWS.
The good news is that 'the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday announced that it had purchased The Tampa Tribune from Revolution Capital Group' says talkingnewmedia.com. The bad news is the new owner immediately closed down its former rival with the loss of around 100 jobs. Those readers that got the old newspaper will get the new paper from tomorrow.
YESTERDAY IT WAS COMPUTERS TAKING OVER BLOOMBERG'S STORY WRITING, NOW FACEBOOK IS TO BE RUN BY ROBOTS.
It is probably fair to say CircSpot.com is not a lover of Facebook as Facebook's aim seems to be to get publishers to hand over their hard-earned content, and offer not much in return... at least to the publisher.
Now it seems that Facebook 'has recently started employing humans to create some specialized content of its own — summaries of newspaper stories other humans have written' says Peter Kafka at recode.net. This all sounds good... but says Michael Nunez at gizmodo.com ' if you really want to know what Facebook thinks of journalists and their craft, all you need to do is look at what happened when the company quietly assembled some to work on its secretive “trending news” project.' Fact of the matter is 'many former employees suspect that Facebook’s eventual goal is to replace its human curators with a robotic one' which will not need to be paid, fed, watered, clothed or given vacations. For more click the links above.
IT'S VEGAS BABY.
Well it is for Kim Armenta at least as 'GreenGale Publishing has named [her] publisher of Vegas magazine, reporting to GreenGale senior vice president and group publisher Alison Miller. Armenta was previously vice president of business development at the Las Vegas agency Fine The Agency.
NEW EDITOR AT ORANGE COAST MAGAZINE...
and that would be Alan Gibbons who will take over on May 16th. Prior to joining Orange Coast Alan was at the Orange Country Register, the Daily Breeze and also at the San Bernardino Sun.
IT'S HARD ON INSTAGRAM...
'for fashion' says Hilary Milnes writing in Pulse magazine and now transcribed on to digiday.com.
Notes Ms. Milnes 'Instagram is a godsend for fashion' but then continues 'it comes with a cost: It’s hard to stand out amid a sea of similar runway shots.' She's not wrong there, in fact to the non-fashionistas it is hard to tell one runway from another runway unless you are looking at a map of Heathrow Airport when you might be able to make an educated guess.
Life is hard in the world of Instagram fashion, but there are ways to stand out, and for those ways, click here.
Real estate professionals and their clients have a new destination to connect, Featured Agent magazine. Developed as a resource for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and other real estate professionals, along with home buyers and sellers, Featured Agent showcases professionals with in-depth articles about their expertise and services.
It also offers timely, useful information to help make the process of buying or selling a home smoother for everyone involved.
May 3rd - Day 124 of 366:
World Press Freedom Day.
AD AGE ANNOUNCES CHANGE AT... AD AGE.
Advertising Age 'has named a new publisher' reports Advertising Age and his name is Josh Golden. 'Mr. Golden will be the first publisher in Ad Age's 86-year history to be hired from outside the company and the first to come from the agency-marketing world' says the report that was written by an unnamed person.
Currently Mr. Golden is at Xerox and has held tenure previously at Story Worldwide where he was Chief marketing Officer and before that he was the Chief Digital Officer at Grey Group. For more, click here.
ANOTHER DAY... ANOTHER AD BLOCKING DEBATE.
At the Publishing Insider Summit in Key Largo ' panel moderator Bob Garfield compared ad-blocking software providers to the Taliban in his opening remarks' says Erik Sass at MediaPost, the hosts of the summit. 'Ann Marinovich, Forbes ran an experiment in which half the visitors using ad blocking software were invited to turn off their ad blockers or whitelist Forbes in return for a lighter ad experience' write Mr. Sass and '35% of the ad blocker users who received the message chose to turn off their blockers or whitelist the site.' As Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc., notes in the comments section 'so 65% of the visitors to the Forbes website who were asked to turn off their blockers or not get in passed on the option? Even if those who did disable their blockers to access Forbes content were more engaged---and that makes sense to me----if the 65% loss ratio holds true for all websites, is this approach really a viable solution except for publishers with really premium content and loyal "core" audiences?'
Elsewhere 'Newspaper Association of America CEO David Chavern pointed out: “Not all ad-blockers are created equal… If you’re a for-profit ad blocker, you don’t want improvement in the digital ecosystem, because you make your living off of a bad ecosystem”.'
It sounds like a lively debate and there is a lot more so zoom along to Mr. Sass's article by clicking here.
'It was exactly two years ago that Tony Gervino assumed the role of editor in chief of Billboard. Today, per a memo from chief creative officer and THR-Billboard Media Group president Janice Min, his time with the publication has come to an end' notes Richard Horgan at adweek.com. For more click here.
ROBOTIC NEWS TO COME TO BLOOMBERG.
John Micklethwait, formerly of The Economist and now 'Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait told his 2,400 journalists in a memo on Tuesday that he was forming a 10-person team to lead a study on how to use more automation in writing and reporting' reports Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post.
The computer generated copy will be called SAC as it is smart automated content and the good news is nobody will be sacked because of SAC; although there was no mention of people who choose to leave being replaced with... another human.
Whether the output from smart humanoid induced tomes will ever really come to fruition we don't know but if it does, we hope it will be called SACOFSHIT because once we start reading the ramblings of... a computer... we are all doomed.
It is bad enough with advertisements being placed on pages based on content, often causing offence, but once we let loose the computers to write the stories we will have created mayhem.
True Mr. Micklethwait says “one irony of automation is that it is only as good as humans make it. That applies to both the main types of automated journalism. In the first, the computer will generate the story or headline by itself. But it needs humans to tell it what to look for, where to look for it and to guarantee its independence and transparency.' He may be right, but we all know the more automation there is, the less staff are needed to maintain it. History is littered with failures based on good intentions, and even if this is a hit, it will be a failure as it will lead to even more dumbing-down... a situation a computer will no doubt love to write about. For more, click here.
For a long time CircSpot.com has argued that ad blocking is not the spiral of death many opine it to be and it seems that Chuck Townsend, the chairman of Condé Nast agrees with our view. In a conversation with Rance Crain at adage.com he says 'ad blocking is really a way to articulate the fact that consumers have negative reactions to advertising out of context.'
Mr Townsend continues 'I would say this to advertisers: Put your advertising in digital content that has perfect context, so that it brings something to the party and then why would someone ignore it?' He is not wrong, after all magazines and newspapers have sold advertisement for many years and in almost all cases those adverts have "been in context" with where they appear and brought something to the party.
We have said it before and we'll say it again - consumers are not adverse to digital advertising, they are adverse to being taken for granted which is what many digital advertisers do, and why ad blockers are on the rise. For more, click here.
Joanna Coles may be about to break out on TV, not is a spotty icky kind of way you understand, but a spy-on-the-wall documentary and new comedy show. Reports Alexandra Steigrad at wwd.com 'a camera crew from Bunim/Murray Productions has been following select [Cosmopolitan] editors at the office and after hours to document their lives outside of work' for a new show on E!.
The comedy show 'a scripted pilot by Sarah Watson, will be based on the editor’s life' and shown on the TV station Freeform which apparently used to be something called ABC Family. Ms. Coles will not appear in this show but is the executive producer. For more, click here.
MARTHA STEWART UNIVERSITY.
Yes, it is true the Queen of the Ponchos in the guise of 'Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Digital are partnering with Church & Dwight Co... to create a video series and digital hub for spring cleaning content, called "Martha University”,' says Sara Guaglione at mediapost.com. For more, click here.
ADVERTISING - EVEN TODAY, IT IS STILL A MAN'S WORLD.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
As a so-called bathroom break girl at the advertising agency BBDO in 1985, Susan Credle took over for receptionists when they left their desks. When she learned how to type quickly and accurately, she was promoted to secretary. In the decades since, she has become one of the most accomplished women in the industry, holding top executive positions at some of the most esteemed creative agencies. She has been behind numerous memorable campaigns, including the humanlike M&M’s characters and Allstate’s Mayhem ads. But even today, there are male leaders in the industry who do not acknowledge her.
We act as if “native advertising” is something new, so what is it and how should we best use it... an introduction to "native advertising!"Click here to read.
Just how safe is your data? With so much data held by publishers, could it be "hacked?" Elaine Tyson and Roy Beagley asked the people that know, the fulfillment bureaus themselves. Click here to read.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau found that more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent and BPA says only 40% of ads measured are actually viewable, but how much of a problem is this? Click here to read more....
Telemarketers are well aware of the Personal Identifier Question and recent changes in rules regarding the PIQ have caused somewhat of a debate in the industry. Ronen Ben-Dror of Blue Valley Telemarketing takes a look at what gives.Click here to read more....
Customers of telemarketing services often commission work without undertaking even the most elementary checks. What should the informed customer look for when choosing an outbound telemarketing agency? Click here to read,
Publishers need to address the USPS's suggested increase before it is too late. Click here to read,
Social media channels today are playing an interesting role in the future and the publishing world now views social media as a positive exchange with subscribers, so To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Tis the QuestionClick here to read more....
How Well Do You Know Your Audience? The more you know, says Ronen Ben-Dror, this could eliminate the battle of qualifying leads. Click here to read more....
When executing a direct mail program, you should give lots of thought to the requirements of merge/purge. This could end up saving you a great deal of money, not forgetting making your life a great deal easier. Karen Tyson explains...
To develop a realistic circulation forecast based upon current economic, industry, and company conditions is part of any circulation director's job. Benefit from the accountant's view and read Peter Sangiorgio's 5 Simple Tips to consider when developing a Circulation Budget. Click here for Peter's insight.
Businesses that put their customers front and center will ultimately win and the secret to successfully scaling CRM practices into any large organization is to really understand your markets. Benefit from Pam's years of experience and learn how to segment your file and become a success. Click here for Pam's insight.
While all major publishers maintain marketing databases,
it is just as important for small publishers too. Pam would argue it’s more important than ever to maintain a database as a tool for identifying, developing and implementing strategy. Click here!
Getting a direct mail package printed takes advance planning. Karen Tyson has some thoughts and ideas as to how to make this sometimes daunting prospect easier to handle... Karen Tyson explains....
Rebecca Sterner is one of the most respected people in the audience development job function. Now you can benefit from Rebecca's knowledge on Setting Up an Auto Renewal Program. Click here.
Enjoy and benefit from this exclusive article for CircSpot.com written by Peter Lenahan who explains why the circulation staff keep the sales force motivated, and how that benefits all concerned. Click here!
Reader's response: One of most intelligent articles I have ever read on ad sales and the all-important relationship with circulation. Well said. Harry S, Sacramento, Calif - via email.
Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!
Evaluating how a campaign is working while agents are in the process of communicating with current or potential clients, live monitoring is an essential tool. Can companies afford to waste all those efforts on a careless approach to monitoring the campaign? Of course not. Click here to read more....
An accurate call list is an extremely important aspect in waging a successful telemarketing campaign. Scrubbing the list is the responsibility of the publishing company and the telemarketing agency. Click here to read more....
Virtually all marketing campaigns are most successful when they employ a multi-channel approach to a targeted audience... even in the "all-digital" world. Click here to read more....
On October 16th last year, a new regulation from the FCC went into effect. Ronen Ben-Dror asks how does the FCC rule affect you in the B2B environment? Click here to read more....
LES, POVS AND COMMENTARIES.
PROMOTIONS WE HAVE RECEIVED - AND WHY THEY ARE GOOD (OR BAD?)
This TV Guide gift effort is colorful and loaded with smart ideas – a two for one offer, special donor renewal price, holiday gift cards, multiple premiums and a reply-by date to move prospects along.
This is a very good email offer for a subscription to the print edition of WWD. There is a lot to recommend the creative. First, the email looks the way you expect WWD to look – smart, elegant and intriguing.
Second, the copy is filled with proven direct marketing technique. The headline says “Summer Special for Industry Insiders” and that’s an appeal to the recipient’s ego. It’s very flattering to be considered an industry insider and to be recognized as such by an industry leader such as WWD is even more appealing. If done correctly, flattering prospects is a smart move.
There is a very strong subscription offer being made and the email leads with that offer – a 34% price saving on a six month subscription. Offers drive promotions and it’s important as a marketer to remember that fact.
You can’t miss the call to action – a GET IT NOW button to order coupled with a prominent respond by date. This technique generally moves prospects along to order as it creates a fear of missing out. Direct marketers have used reply by dates for years and years in mailed offers.
There are also benefits offered in addition to the special subscription price – more content, a new, bolder look and “extras” such as daily email of top stories and three issues of Beauty Inc.
This email offer uses smart direct marketing technique developed through many years of print campaign testing and marries it to the immediacy of email. It’s difficult to ask for more.
We recently received an interesting direct mail package offering a subscription to House Beautiful magazine. It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Click on the picture below for more details.
The New York Times wants me back - nice. An outer envelope that perforates on the right, left and top which then revels a single order form and a postage paid reply envelope (not shown.) It is an interesting offer '50% off for 16 weeks' - the 50% off I understand, but the 16 weeks has me a tad confused... more than a quarter, less than a half and not quite a third. If it was intended to get me thinking, it did.
I can get all the digital elements my little heart desires and access to nytimes.com. Ordering is made easy, I can phone, go online even use the USPS and try and reduce their losses.
Sadly, the reason I canceled my subscription weighs heavier on my mind as does the all-singing, all dancing offer I received, so for the moment NYT - thanks, but no thanks. To enlarge the image on the left, click on the image.
We recently received the regular offer from Opera News and this offer, like our old nanny Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. '3 Risk-Free Issues' always a vote grabber, a free gift offer of a CD, an involvement device, savings of 68%, and a reply by instruction. We may have died and gone to heaven!
Inside, or the reverse depending on your point of view, 'Free' is mentioned not once, nor twice but four times in as many paragraphs and an excellent re-stating of what we are going to get, or not if we don't reply in ten days. The Free issues are even restated on the reply card. Whoever wrote and designed this should be sent a bag of onions, because they sure as hell know them. It looks good, does all the right things and Opera News mail it regularly, so we can conclude that it works for them. (Click here or on the thumbnail to view larger image.
We received our monthly renewal offer from TV Guide this week, and it does all the right things and looks good, and makes ordering very simple. As with many publications the actual renewal date is not mentioned, something which annoys me as a subscriber, but pleases me as a marketer - can you tell I am a Gemini? IF you click on the image above, you can see what happens at the ordering stage, although this is made as simple as possible. Interestingly, for an online order form, and a renewal form at that, TV Guide offers a Bill Me option.
Here's a good offer from Oracle Magazine for a qualified controlled publication. It has good benefits copy and makes requesting Oracle Magazine easy with a couple of "Subscribe Now" buttons. There is interesting PS copy offering a new publication for those who might be interested in Java Magazine as well as Oracle. The design is clean, uncluttered and attractive. To view the offer, click here. Not sure why the publisher is only offering six free issues, but given the quality of the promotion there must be a very good reason.
Here is the latest offering from People magazine. Nice personalized outer envelope, and a simple and concise brochure showing good covers and copy that sells the subscription. To order, it's old school, snail mail - no mention of ordering via the web anywhere. Nice package and well done to People for knowing that direct mail via the post office is still a good way to get orders.
Click on the image to see large versions.
Here’s what appears to be an advance renewal offer from Vegetarian Times. It’s a renewal sweeps – smart idea because the original sub order was placed through PCH. We’re assuming it’s an advance renewal as only one copy of the subscription has been received thus far. The offer is a strong one –a 78% saving on the renewal plus a chance to win $25,000 (along with other prizes). Package includes clever “sweeps” techniques on the outer envelope, an offer deadline and small flyer detailing prizes. Good job, Vegetarian Times!
Click on the image to see large versions.
We received this double postcard from GQ magazine. The card looks great, has a nice cover and a nice free gift, but also has a rather confusing offer. '24 issues of GQ for only $20.00 - that's 83c (plus 17 cents shipping and handling) per issue; in other words $24.00 then. If you add 83 cents to 17 cents, you get $1.00 which if you then multiply by 24 issues you get $24.00. Click on the image to see large versions.
When my subscription of 'The Week' arrived last week, inside the envelope was an offer for 12 issues of 'The Oldie' magazine. As far as I am aware these magazines are independent of each other, but have a great deal in common.
This is a nice way of promoting a magazine that is probably already known to readers of another magazine and would be fairly cheap to produce and execute. Nice offer. Click on the image for a larger view of the outside and inside.
Always nice to get something from 'The Economist' as they always do things so well.
A free copy of 'The World in 2013' is a nice incentive for the readers among us, and a free tablet cover for the tecchies to boot - which also indirectly pushes the digital version.
'People' really knows how to use it's house file. Good offer, nice creative and use of personalization.
The offer is strong and the order form is pre-populated - what's not to love?
(Click on the image to see larger size and also the order form page.
This is an interesting offer. On the one hand it pushes newsstand sales, you can save $1.00 if you print out the coupon. However if you clicked on the Save $1.00 link you can also subscribe and get eight issues free.
An offer is an offer,
even though this offer
is not publishing related,
it has ignored basic
promotion rule 1-0-1:
Know Thy Prospect!
Rebecca Sterner wrote on CircSpot on how to set up an autorenewal. It just so happens that today we received our auto renewal for Time. In all honesty we had not planned to renew it, but it is done, and although we could cancel it, $81.00 for 56 issues is not worth the hassle of canceling, so we guess the auto renewal worked... at least in our case.
A CircSpot.com reader looked for something on the Times of London web site, and this popped up while the page they wanted to view was loading. He liked it, took a picture, and sent it to us - thanks Glyn C-R of Buckinghamshire.
To view larger size, click on the above image.
A CircSpot.com reader subscribed to Fast Company and paid $10.00 for a subscription. After placing the order, they received an email offering a $5.00 credit if she can get another person to subscribe in the next 6 hours. This seemed like a very clever idea to the the person who sent us the information - and we agree.
To view larger size, click on the above image.
Here's a nice promotion from The Nation. It's quick to read, offers an invitation to receive exclusive free offers - it's a flattering offer and comes from a credible publication.
It ultimately leads you to a subscription landing page offering 4 free issues (very strong offer) plus attractive subscription prices and a choice of format - print or online access.
The promotion is clean and uncluttered with enough enticing benefits to attract readership.