Useful, accessible information on circulation and audience development for magazine publishing professionals.

November 25th 2015

is the 329th day of the year and there are 36 days remaining until the end of the year.

SPECIAL NOTICE: will not be updated on Thursday as we are closed for Thanksgiving Day, and it will not be updated on Friday because we will be suffering (hopefully!) the excesses of Thanksgiving Day.

Films starring Bradley Cooper, Johnny Depp, Chris Hemsworth and George Clooney are among the list of the biggest film flops of 2015 (which is good news for all us ugly folk!)

Temperatures across the globe are likely to break records in 2015 with readings running "well above" any previous year, scientists say.
Actor John Stamos has been sentenced to three years of probation after pleading no contest to driving under the influence of a drug.

Phuc Dat Bich who made global headlines after saying he was fighting to use his real name on Facebook admits it was hoax.

Justin Trudeau will be received by the Queen today at Buckingham Palace

Babies who are born in NHS hospitals on weekends are more likely to be stillborn or die within seven days than those born between Monday and Friday, according to research.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered state-of-the art air defence missile systems to be deployed at a Russian air base in Syria following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey.
In just days, Adele's 25 has officially set a new first-week sales record, moving 2.433 million albums in the U.S. since its release Friday.

1604 – Johannes Bach, German organist and composer (d. 1673)
1731 – William Cowper, English poet and hymnwriter (d. 1800)
1869 – Maud of Wales (d. 1938)
1888 – Ford Beebe, American screenwriter and director (d. 1978)
1908 – Charles Forte, Baron Forte, Italian-Scottish businessman, founded Forte Group (d. 2007)
1910 – Cyril Cusack, South African-Irish
actor (d. 1993)
1923 – Pat Phoenix, English
actress (d. 1986)
1933 – Robert Goulet,
American-Canadian singer
and actor (d. 2007)
1939 – Tina Turner, American-Swiss singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress
1945 – Daniel Davis, American actor
1949 – Shlomo Artzi, Israeli singer-songwriter and guitarist
1949 – Juanin Clay,
American actress (d. 1995)
1953 – Hilary Benn, English politician, Secretary of State for International Development
1981 – Natasha Bedingfield, English singer-songwriter and producer

2013 – Stan Stennett,
Welsh actor (b. 1925)
1996 – Michael Bentine, English actor and screenwriter (b. 1922)
1892 – Charles Lavigerie,
French cardinal (b. 1825)

783 – The Asturian queen Adosinda is put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus.

1476 – Vlad the Impaler defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Báthory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

1778 – In the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit Maui.

1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as proclaimed by President George Washington at the request of Congress.

1842 – The University of Notre Dame is founded.

1942 – Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City

1977 – An unidentified hijacker named Vrillon, claiming to be the representative of the "Ashtar Galactic Command", takes over Britain's Southern Television for six minutes, starting at 5:12 pm.

1983 – Brink's-Mat robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million are stolen from the Brink's-Mat vault at Heathrow Airport.

2000 – George W. Bush is certified the winner of Florida's electoral votes by Katherine Harris, going on to win the United States presidential election, despite losing in the national popular vote.

2003 – Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England.
The events in Paris last Friday reminds me of events on London many years ago... And Another Thing!
Click here to read.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
It’s far from too early to think about gift subscriptions.  In fact, it’s too late for this year, so let’s plan next year’s gift promotions.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

November 23rd 2015

November 23rd 2015
'The Sun is facing a backlash against its front-page report of an opinion poll purporting to show that one in five British Muslims had “sympathy for jihadis”' says The Guardian and apparently the press regulator in the UK has received over 1,200 complaint - more than the number of people surveyed for the piece itself. '5% of respondents agreed with the statement “I have a lot of sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria” and that 14.5% said they had “some sympathy”. Critics argued that the use of the term “sympathy” was ambiguous and that it was not clear who was meant by “fighters in Syria”,' says the article. For more on this click here.
'The Australian has announced it is closing niche climate news website The Climate Spectator just days before the UN Climate Conference in Paris kicks off' reports 'In his farewell note editor Tristan Edis said he was saddened to see the publication close but noted the other voices emerging in the space.' For more, click here.

Meanwhile, 'News Corp Australia will slash 55 journalism roles across its newspapers, a move which has drawn condemnation from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.

The publishing company met with the journalists’ union [recently] to discuss the redundancy program, while editorial managers responsible for the cuts have also been briefed about the program, according to News Corp publication The Australian.' For more, click here.
Sad to report that 'Austin Kiplinger, the longtime chairman and editor-in-chief of a financial publishing company that bore his name, has died.'
The story at says Mr.'Kiplinger died Friday at a hospice in Rockville, Maryland, where he was treated briefly after receiving hospice care at home, said his son, Knight Kiplinger. The cause of death was brain cancer, most likely a melanoma that had spread to his brain, his son said.' For more, click here.

'Calvin Darden Sr's relationship with his son Calvin Darden Jr. is a key element of the Maxim magazine fraud triaL' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post and the 'troubled father-son relationship became a riveting subplot in the fraud trial of a lawyer accused of duping investors of millions of dollars in a bid to buy Maxim magazine.' To get up to date on the court shenanigans, click here.
'A new report indicates the postal workforce will remain stable through late 2016' say the good folks at, especially given the rather alarming losses the USPS made in fiscal 2015. 'The financial report says that Phase II of Network Rationalization (the politically sensitive closing of mail-processing centers) and a 2.1% decrease in mail volume will make the slight cuts in workhouse possible' which has always been in the "plan." (Yes the USPS does have a plan... and you thought it was all doom and gloom - tut tut! For more of the musings at, click here.

'Edgy journalism, fun tech gadgets and' articles on 'independently made products' apparently. At least that is what Michael del Castillo at the New York Business Journal scribes. 'In an article published today on Brooklyn-based Makers Row’s blog, Playboy chief brand officer Scott Killian wrote about how his employer is rebranding itself with the help of small batch manufacturers' says Mr. del Castillo, and for more, click here.

Peter Green
Joins Crain’s New York.

‘Modern Luxury Silicon Valley’ To Debut in March.

4 Questions About the Future of B2B Publishing Ahead of B2B Media Strategies. is Snapchat’s newest Discover publisher.

And we are talking abut readers of course, but says despite wanting younger readers it does not want them 'enough to change itself.' For the why in this story, read Jason Abbruzzsese's article by clicking here.
And we are talking of none other than Condé Nast who says Lorelei Marfil at have 'been found guilty of contempt of court by a British judge who ruled that an article published in British GQ risked derailing a trial involving senior staff at the now-defunct tabloid News of the World.' The story that the judge said created a “substantial risk” was written by Michael Wolfe and called “The Court Without a King.” We doubt that anyone will get "banged up" to use the cockney vernacular, but there may be a fine. For more, click here.

November 23rd 2015

It is the 400th edition and the issue, out on Thursday is ' focused on celebrating "wit, wisdom and what makes men great".' So says the report at and the issue features interviews with 'modern-day male icons who have provoked, challenged, entertained, enlightened and inspired generations.' To make the issue even more special says 'all 15 are included in an ‘eyes closed’ cover design, which will come to life in an animated digital version available on For more, click here, and to see the covers come alive here, just mouse over onto the cover and see Sir Michael's eyes come alive - along with others.

'The 2015 COPA’s were handed out at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto' last week and a good time seemed to be had by all.
'The awards [were] separated into three divisions:' says 'consumer content; business to business content and news content. Some of the winners included Alberta Venture Magazine, Alberta Oil Magazine, Maclean's and The Globe and Mail. For a complete list, cliquez ici!
'Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror is planning to close its printing plant in Newcastle' reports Paul Linford at 'with the loss of up to 49 jobs, it was announced today.'

The centre is one of seven that Trinity Mirror have around the UK and the reason for the closure says Mr. Linford 'is being put down to the limitations of the site and “changes in the wider environment for printed newspapers”.' For more, click here.
Probably not in the middle of a morale-building cruise with your staff, but that is where Bill Wackerman first heard his days were numbered at Condé Nast Traveler. Says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post Mr. 'Wackermann was forced to leave the group mid-cruise and fly home to get the bad news.' For more, click here.

'And the latest victim is Wenner Media's Peter Stevenson, the former longtime No. 2 editor of The New York Observer who had just taken a job as Men's Journal's deputy editor in September' says Joe Pompeo at This follows on from recent staff reductions at Condé Nast and National Geographic and no doubt there is more to come. For more of Joe's report, click here.
Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post has been found guilty of "collaborating with hostile governments" and disseminating "propaganda against the establishment" in Iran, but there are no details available as to his sentence.

Mr. Rezaian was arrested in July last year and only learned of his conviction as it was broadcast on Iranian TV.
'The Guardian has announced plans to create a "news hub" for the North of England in Manchester' scribes William Turvill at it 'will have a team of five working in its existing newsroom in Deansgate reporting into the national newsdesk.'

This sees a welcome increase of staff to Manchester where the The Guardian was actually founded back in 1821, known then as the Manchester Guardian, dropping "Manchester" when it moved to London in the 1960s. For more, click here.
Craft Beer Brewer Launches Magazine 'Pallet'.

Erik Sass at says 'at first glance beauty and technology may not seem like a natural pairing' although the inventors of Photoshop might disagree, but says Erik 'he subjects increasingly go hand in hand, thanks to innovation in areas like mobile, the Internet of things and 3D printing.'

This is why 'Marie Claire is joining forces with tech event organizer and publisher Living In Digital Times, to highlight the growing overlap between beauty and technology with an in-magazine guide and joint event at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The show will be on January 6th and 7th next year and if you want more information, click here.
there can be no denial the newsstand is suffering greatly. There are a number of reasons for this: the costs of just getting a magazine on the traditional newsstand is surely one reason, and the lack of space in outlets another. And yet, D. Eadward Tree at notes publishers are filling the newsstand void and in many cases filling the void very well indeed. For more, click here.
SPECIAL NOTICE: will not be updated on Thursday as we are closed for Thanksgiving Day, and it will not be updated on Friday because we will be suffering the excesses of Thanksgiving Day.

To be added to the weekly alert, complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.

Content marketing specialists know there is a great return on investments especially when teamed up with a quality telemarketing... Ronen Ben-Dror explores some options. Click here to read.

Native advertising is here to stay, probably. It is a good thing, possibly. So why can't Glen Martin decide whether he likes native or not? Click here to read.

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 Question Click 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...

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning Your Audience Development Efforts by Kinjal Husges. Click here to read more....

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.

Sending out a direct mail campaign requires a good lettershop operation... Karen Tyson explains....

For years the concept of earning and deferring income has confused many, but it is not that difficult. Get the facts behind earned and deferred income from Peter Sangiorgio. Click here to read more....

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complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.

Cash flow is probably the most important resource any business has. Benefit from Peter's insight and knowledge. Click here to read this exclusive article.

Circulation can be an asset on a sales call. Peter Lenahan explains what to do, and as importantly not what to do in this exclusive article. Click here!

How to manage a telemarketing campaign and make it work for you. Karen Tyson explains....

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 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....




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 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.

The predominant red is great as it screamed "ECONOMIST" as soon as I opened my email. Oh and 69c a copy, they got me! [Click here or on image for large 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!


To view larger size, click on the above image.

A recent offer from People magazine. It looks simple but a great deal of thought has gone into this offer, not least the cover featured on the tablets.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
Let's state it up front - we know the email at the end of the link is spam. Even so, it is a great example of why some design is a good thing in email promotions - even text only promotions. We cannot believe anyone who got this email would even have got so far a clicking a link! Click here to see the email, which is a screen shot taken from our computer.

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.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
A 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 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.

Click on the image above for a larger version.