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


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.

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.

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.

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....

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....

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....

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,

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....

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....

Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!

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

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.

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!

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!

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....

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....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

May 27th 2015

is the 147th day of the year and there are 218 days remaining until the end of the year.

A British man who attempted to join Islamic State in Syria is jailed for six years.

An EU referendum, tax freezes and a boost for "working people" are among the plans unveiled in the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech.

The Fifa presidential election will go ahead on Friday despite the launch of two damaging corruption investigations.

New York's theatre land enjoys its best ever season for 2014-2015, breaking box office and attendance records.

A former Los Angeles policeman wanted in connection with the killing of a man near LA has been arrested in northern Mexico.

A criminal investigation is under way in the US after fraudsters stole personal tax information from an Internal Revenue Service website as part of an elaborate $50m scam.

Johnny Depp could face 10 years in prison for illegally taking his two dogs into Australia.

742 – Emperor Dezong of Tang (d. 805);
1626 – William II, Prince of Orange (d. 1650);
1756 – Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria (d. 1825);
1863 – Arthur Mold, cricketer (d. 1921);
1891 – Aage Redal, actor (d. 1950);
1911 – Vincent Price, actor (d. 1993);
1922 – Christopher Lee, actor and singer;
1930 – Simon Barrington-Ward, bishop;
1936 – Louis Gossett, Jr., actor and producer;
1942 – Robin Widdows, race car driver;
1943 – Cilla Black, singer and actress;
1943 – Bruce Weitz, actor;
1946 – Lewis Collins, actor (d. 2013);
1955 – Richard Schiff, actor;
1962 – Anthony A. Hyman, scientist;
1962 – David Mundell, politician;
1968 – Rebekah Brooks, journalist.


2013 – Bill Pertwee, actor (b. 1926).

1153 – Malcolm IV becomes King of Scotland.

1199 – John is crowned King of England.

1849 – The Great Hall of Euston station in London is opened.

1908 – Khilafat Day – the day of establishment of Khilafat in Islam Ahmadiyya.

1958 – The F-4 Phantom II makes its first flight.

1967 – The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy is launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline.

2006 – The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600 people.


My television is watching me, just like the movie Poltergeist!
Click here to read. Click here for audio version.


Basic Steps in Planning
A Direct Mail Campaign

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May 27 2015
Meredith Corporation the media and marketing company serving more than 100 million American women and 60 percent of U.S. millennial women, has been named the third-largest global licensor by License!Global magazine for a second consecutive year. The ranking is based on the retail sales of goods and services sold under Meredith-owned trademarks, including Better Homes and Gardens®, Parents®, and Allrecipes®.

The annual ranking report highlights the breadth and impact of the licensed goods market. The 2014 rankings revealed no change in ranking for the Top 5 largest licensors, where Meredith joins other major companies like The Walt Disney Company, PVH Corp. (Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger), Iconix Brand Group (Danskin, Starter), and Mattel, Inc.(Barbie, Fisher-Price).

Top licensing agreements for Meredith Brand Licensing include a long-standing home decor and outdoor living collection of Better Homes and Gardens products available only at Walmart and; lifestyle-based home buying and selling services through the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise network of brokers and agents; and the newly extended program Better Homes and Gardens Flowers by FTD.
"American women look to Meredith's trusted brands for things important to her world: products or services for her family, her home, and herself," says Elise Contarsy, Vice President, Meredith Brand Licensing. "Our licensed products are another way for consumers to interact with our leading brands on a very personal level."
Meredith Brand licensing will be featuring all trademarks available for licensing from its well-recognized brands including Allrecipes, EatingWell, Traditional Home, and Shape at the International Licensing EXPO in Las Vegas, June 9-11, 2015.
'Sports Illustrated is expected to launch close to a dozen new podcasts over the next couple of months' says Anna Clark at Anna reports 'staffers were asked earlier this spring to pitch podcast ideas "that would serve both the SI audience as well as help bring new people to SI".'

“The overriding conceit for all of the SI podcasts is to be journalistically sound and smart” says senior editor Richard Deitsch, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. For more, click here.

Hearst Names
Branded Content Director

New Editor-in-Chief for ‘Savvy’ Travel Mag

Sadly the USA seems to have run out of staff that could work for iconic American brand Time Inc., as the company 'plans to more than double the size of its workforce in India to upward of 1,000 employees by the end of 2016' reports Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post.

Sort of makes you wonder why they bought that big old building in lower Manhattan when you consider the third largest concentration of Time Inc. is in... Bangalore.

Whether the USA has run out of suitable candidates that could help Joe Ripp out or not is not totally clear, it could be Time Inc. feels sorry for India considering the poverty that Big Bang Theory character Rajesh Ramayan Koothrappali, Ph.D. is always banging about, or could it be... profits!

All we do know is we are going to subscribe to Time and People, just so we can cancel our subscriptions. For more, click here.
At Ricardo Bilton notes 'journalists who burn out on the news grind have found plenty of opportunities at tech companies over the past few years' and when you consider that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have all hired journalists to work on their products you have to wonder if this is a good thing, to invoke Martha like incantations.
Says Mr. Bilton 'such hires, however, have a mixed track record. Many writing gigs at tech companies turn out to be glorified marketing jobs, not the pure reporting gigs journalists expect' which of course could be problematical. To get more of Mr. Bilton's insight, click here.
Matt Warren, editor of The Lady magazine is leaving the building after three and a half years.
Mr. Warren came from the Daily Mail to take over from Rachel Johnson and says he is 'moving on to become a freelance journalist and paragliding instructor. The Lady is England's longest running weekly magazine for women and has been in continuous publication since 1885.
The magazine was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, the maternal grandfather of the Mitford sisters. Bowles also founded the English magazine Vanity Fair. For more, click here.
At least in California says 'PennySaverUSA, a coupon magazine that has been delivered statewide for the last 50 years, abruptly ceased operations on Friday' it says and all because 'its lender apparently stopped their funding.' For more on this story, click here.

Jason Rezaian works for the Washington Post in Iran and has ' been accused of “espionage for the US government and activity against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” according to IRNA, the country’s official news agency' according to

His trial, ten months after being arrested started behind closed doors yesterday, and adjourned 'after a few hours.' The date for the next stage of the trial has to be set by the judge, and twixt you, us, and the gatepost, don't expect it to be anytime soon. For more, click here.
The building was erected in 1939 but says Ray Farris “we are a 21st-century media company operating in a mid 20th-century building” so the building has to go... not totally sure why, but hey, what do we know? 'Lee Enterprises... announced that the building that serves as the headquarters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other St. Louis operations will be listed for sale, and the offices will be relocated' reports and the company selling the property says “this property is a great addition to the historic building stock in the St. Louis market,” said Meade Summers, President of Hilliker Corp. “It could remain office space or be repositioned for residential use.” For more, click here.

Tecchies? - Hardly.
Social Media Manager? - As if!
Marketing? - Get real!
Circulation? - What?!?!?!?!?!?!
People in India like Time Inc.? - Please!

Once upon a time, three years ago a magazine strolled through the trees, came out of the dark ages and started an Instagram feed. It huffed and puffed and got 19,000,000 followers and was nice to the world around it. So nice in fact that one billion people actually said "we like you!" So who in the rather lame fairy-type tale, (but give us credit, we did try) does run Nat Geo's Instagram - we are not going to tell you! (But if you click here, the magic fairy of the internet will whisk you away to Kristen Hare at who will, with a wave of her wand and a sprinkle of pixie dust, reveal the end of our tale.

Vox Media Acquires 
Re/code in All-Stock Deal
for Revere Digital.

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May 26th 2015
In lieu of the annual Maggies being cancelled, as announced by the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association (MMPA), there will be a mini-Maggie ceremony on Thursday at the at the Governor’s Boardroom at Bailey’s Restaurant in Winnipeg. All are welcome and there will be a cash bar. For more, cliquez ici.
'The Salford Star was relaunched in print last week' reports Helen Lambourne at, seven years after in changed to online only.

'Editor Stephen Kingston said: "Every day that the Salford Star has been online, we’ve dreamed of getting the magazine back into print, and that day has come".' For more, click on the cover.

UK 'regional publisher Newsquest has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of independent newspaper publisher Romanes Media Group, it has been announced today' says Helen Lambourne, still at

The price for the purchase of one newspaper and nearly thirty magazine was not disclosed. For more, click here.

Vancouver Magazine and Western Living Sold to Yellow Pages Homes Ltd.

UBM plc announces that Sally Shankland will be stepping down as CEO of UBM Americas at the end of June 2015 to pursue an opportunity in a different industry. In line with UBM’s succession planning and following the appropriate process, we expect to announce an internal appointment well ahead of Sally’s departure at the end of June. Until then, Sally will continue to fulfil her duties, including her position on the Executive Committee and the Advanstar Integration Committee.

Tim Cobbold, Chief Executive of UBM plc, said:
“Sally’s commitment to UBM has been significant. She has seen the Group transformed from a print-heavy conglomerate into an Events-focussed media and communications business. Her role within this transformation has been noteworthy, particularly her long tenure as leader of our US medical media assets. I thank her warmly for her contribution and wish her every success in her new role.” Sally Shankland commented:
“The decision to leave UBM was far from easy to make as I feel passionately about the organization and the people that work here. However after 28 years, I feel I am ready for a new challenge – at a new company and in a new industry. I will look forward to watching as UBM realizes its ambition of becoming the world’s leading B2B Events organizer.”

'Chicago printing giant RR Donnelley is not so impressed with the crafty skills of home enhancements queen Martha Stewart' says Erik Cagle at

The printer has apparently filed a lawsuit claiming that the poncho queen's company 'did not live up to the terms of a 2006 agreement, which RR Donnelley contends has cost it at least $7.7 million, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.'

For further details of the lawsuit, which does not seem to affect the arrangement between MSLO and Meredith since 'a Meredith representative told Crain’s in an email that its company “has its own existing printing contracts with (Donnelley) under which Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines are being printed”' click here.

'Condé Nast's doors won't stay closed to magazine industry hopefuls for much longer' says as 'the publishing giant is in the process of forming a fellowship program similar to what media companies like BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and Wired, a Condé Nast-owned magazine, already offer.'

The program will be for six months, and the lucky recipients of the fellowship weill get paid. For more details, click here.
Well, you have no choice now as Entertainment Weekly as introduced a paywall. Like the New York Times's paywall you will get a number of free views a month before coughing up some moolah. $1.99 a month or $20.00 a year, not bad if you love Entertainment Weekly... not forgetting 26 scary pop culture clowns. For more, click here.


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.