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

May 25th 2016

is the 146th day of the year and there are 220 days remaining until the end of the year.


France has begun using its reserve fuel supply to deal with petrol shortages caused by workers blockading oil refineries over labor reforms.

A judge has ordered Bill Cosby to stand trial in a 2004 sex assault allegation, the first criminal case against him out of dozens of similar claims.

An Australian town is in a "state of emergency" because it has been overtaken by a swarming mass of 100,000 bats.

Russia has released jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko and she is being flown home as part of a swap for two Russian servicemen.

Benjamin Netanyahu strikes new coalition deal, far-right leader to be defence minister.

Helen Hunt says a confused Starbucks barista mistook her for fellow Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster... whether Ms. Foster likes being confused with Helen Hunt is not known.

U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to ease growing Asian worries about the raucous U.S. election campaign... meanwhile, Donald Trump has won the Republican primary in Washington state.

The head of security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has been removed from his post amid growing furore over long security lines at U.S. airports.

Federal prosecutors have said they will seek the execution of Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine black churchgoers in South Carolina.

Royal Dutch Shell will increase the number of job cuts in 2015 and 2016 by around 20 percent to at least 12,500 as a result of low oil prices and the integration of BG Group.

Burt Kwouk, best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato Fong in the Pink Panther films, has died aged 85.

Protests outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico turned violent.

1791 – Minh Mang, Vietnamese emperor (d. 1841)
1877 – Billy Murray, American singer and actor (d. 1954)
1878 – Bill Robinson, American actor and dancer (d. 1949)
1912 – Dean Rockwell, American commander,
wrestler, and coach (d. 2005)
1921 – Kitty Kallen, American singer and actress (d. 2016)
1926 – David Wynne, English sculptor and painter (d. 2014)
1929 – Warren Frost, American actor
1929 – Ann Robinson, American actress
1938 – Malcolm Innes of Edingight
1939 – Dixie Carter, American actress and singer (d. 2010)
1959 – Julian Clary, English comedian, actor, and author
1971 – Stefano Baldini, Italian runner
1971 – Marco Cappato, Italian politician
1971 – Justin Henry, American actor
1979 – Jonny Wilkinson, English rugby player

2012 – R. Dilip, Indian actor (b. 1955)
1983 – Idris of Libya (b. 1889)
1934 – Gustav Holst, English trombonist,
composer, and educator (b. 1874)
1261 – Pope Alexander IV (b. 1185)
1085 – Pope Gregory VII (b. 1020)
615 – Pope Boniface IV (b. 550)

1819 – The Argentine Constitution of 1819 is promulgated.

1833 – The Chilean Constitution of 1833 is promulgated.

1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London.

1895 – The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as its president.

1914 – The House of Commons of the United Kingdom passes the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.

1968 – The Gateway Arch in Saint Louis is dedicated.

1979 – American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport killing all 271 on board and two people on the ground.

1982 – HMS Coventry is sunk during the Falklands War.

2002 – China Airlines Flight 611 disintegrates in mid-air and crashes into the Taiwan Strait. All 225 people on board are killed.

2011 – Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty-five-year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

AMC are bums... except, they're not!
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For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
What Information Should You Give your Creative Team?
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For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

Day 146 of 366: Commonwealth Day (Belize)
'Women’s Fitness will share its content with gym brand Anytime Fitness' reports Miranda Ward at 'in an effort to expose the Women’s Fitness brand to its members.' Reports Ms. Ward 'Publisher of Women’s Fitness, Steve Maidens said: "Our partnership with Anytime Fitness aligns perfectly with our ‘Fitness that fits your life’ philosophy".' For more, click here.
... and no, it is not Flipper, it is Ella Dolphin who is joining Shortlist Media from 'Hearst Magazines UK where she held the position of Group Commercial Director' reports Current C.E.O. Mike Soutar and also the co-founder of Shortlist Media will become Chairman later this year. For more, click here.
'Vice Media has laid off about 20 staff based in the US, London and in two foreign correspondent positions as part of restructuring plans' reports Ben Quinn and Jasper Jackson at The Guardian.

'Vice News foreign correspondent, Harriet Salem' tweeted out news of her departure making the layoffs public. For more of Mr. Quinn and Mr. Jackson's report, click here.

Elbow their opponents? Sing rude words to "Oh Canada"? Think Ted Cruz is a good Canadian? No - none of these... but one in six Canadians block ads on their Canadian devices, or just 16.6% reports Getting figures on what countries block what is difficult because there are so many variables and frankly data changes on a daily basis. Says the IAB Canada study '13% of Canadians that had installed ad blocking software/apps at one point have actually disabled or deleted it from their system' and 'this underscores the appropriateness of the publisher community’s efforts to detect ad blocking software and suspend content delivery until the publisher site is either white-listed or the ad blocker is removed.' Well I guess figures can prove anything you want them to prove, but if 13% "disabled or deleted" the blocking software, then 87% didn't which makes us wonder just how "appropriate" publishers attempts really are... but as we say figures can prove whatever you want them to prove. For more, cliquez ici mes amis canadiens et d'autres!
Nothing worse than a cold that won't go, but says Richard Horgan at 'the good news is that it’s strictly a common cold, of a kind that occurs when the managerial temperature of a brand like Esquire suddenly changes.' For the symptoms, and the cure, we hope, click here.

Brooklyn Beckham is 'featured on the cover of Vogue Me — Vogue China’s special issue' says Lorelei Marfil at His only claim to fame is having parents, one of whom is slightly more talented than the other - and being named after a bridge. Shouldn't this kid be in school?

Of course you don't really need a skill to be a model as long as you can pout, pose and walk around a bit, something both his parents are able to do in droves, and if your boat race (face) can sell magazines, what else do you need in life. For more, click here.

Writes D. B. Hebbard at Talking New Media 'if you would have asked me three years ago about the future of B2B magazines in the digital space I would have said ‘wait, in three years you’ll see most B2B magazines inside the Apple Newsstand.”

Well there is no Apple Newsstand but that does not mean to say that B2B digital magazines are not being created... they are.. just not as many as we had hoped.

Mr. Hebbard takes a look at two of the latest magazines from the B2B world to come into our lives, click here for more.

Penske Media Corp. Appoints George Brobar as Chief Operating Officer.

Amazon stopped giving refunds when an item's price drops after you purchase it...
except for TVs.
Spencer Hays 'is getting ready to have his majority-owned Athlon Media Group snap up most of the magazines that Harris Publications suddenly shut down in late April' reports Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post. Says Mr. Kelly 'the Nashville, Tenn-based Athlon, which itself was in dire financial straits several years ago, seems to be specializing in buying distressed publishing assets.' if this happens, and by all accounts it is more of "go" than "no go" at the moment it may well turn out to be a good thing for the shuttered magazine as Mr. Hays has an impressive record as far as distressed magazines are concerned. For more, click here.
Barbara Kay: The Dorchester Review — the little magazine that can.

Day 145 of 366: Commonwealth Day (Belize)
'The fight to stay fresh and relevant doesn't just apply to aging starlets in Hollywood' says Kristin Marguerite Doidge at, it also applies to the publications that cover it. To that end, Variety magazine has gone under the knife and come out looking vastly different, a bit like many of the artists the magazine covers, but that's another story! 'This month’s changes to Variety’s print product range from tiny to tentpole' says the report and to find out what "tiny" and "tentpole" are exactly, click here.
... how about the latest cover! 'Illustrator Marco Venturi has depicted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s current challenges as a station on the crosscurrents of digital media. It’s the cover of this week’s issue of Variety, and the imagery is striking' says Richard Horgan at - and he's not wrong! For more, click here.

'Salon CEO Cindy Jeffers is leaving the company' reports Peter Sterne and Kelsey Sutton at Ms. Jeffers joined Salon three years ago this month 'and was elevated to the CEO position a few weeks later, after the company's previous CEO — founder David Talbot — stepped down as CEO and editor in chief' says Peter and Kelsey. They have more to say as well and for that, click here.
'Lawrence-based Sunflower Publishing has reached a deal for Peterson Publications to serve as the advertising representative for Topeka Magazine' reports For more, click here.

Michael Schnaidt and Clint Carter have joined Popular Science and Men's Journal respectively.

Esquire's New Editor Wants to 'Reimagine the Way Fashion Can Be Done'

Day 144 of 366: World Turtle Day
Well, they will be as 'the Telegraph is to cut back space at its Victoria headquarters by introducing “smart working”, and boost pay packages to recruit and retain “top talent”, as part of a restructure' says Mark Sweney at The Guardian.

It seems as though "management" hired the boffins at Deloitte to review the way the Telegraph group handles itself. Judging by the change made, it is probably safe top presume it was not handling itself in the best way. To learn of the changes, click here, but from what we can glean in Mark's report, we sort of wonder why the company was not operating in the ways Deloitte suggested in the first place.

Evelyn Webster is the executive vice president at Time Inc. 'responsible for all of the Joe Ripp-led company’s US magazines' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post and 'some say that she is the most powerful within the company behind CEO Joe Ripp' says So why is she in the news? Well, says Mr. Kelly, Ms. Webster 'is divvying up duties for 17 titles between two executives.' the executives being MaryAnn Bekkedahl and Charlie Kammerer. For more, click here.
Yes, believe it or not, but Gannett, publisher of USA Today and other media have had their second offer rejected by Tribune Publishing. Part of the reason, in fact, THE reason may be 'a $70.5 million outside investment, and a new vice chairman of the company's board' reports

'Tribune chair Michael Ferro, as POLITICO first reported last week, has suggested that it might be possible for Tribune to buy Gannett' says the report, which is frankly getting more and more complicated by the day -but is such fun to watch! For more, click here.

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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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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.