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

Oct 24th 2016

is the 298th day of the year and there are 68 days remaining until the end of the year.



Five French officials killed as surveillance plane crashes at Malta airport.

Iraqi forces shelled Islamic State positions outside Mosul on Monday as fighting to retake the extremist-held city entered its second week.

Comedy legend Bill Murray has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize, America's top comedy award, in a ceremony featuring friends and co-stars.

The most senior U.S. diplomat for Asia assured the Philippines on Monday that Washington remained its "trusted" ally and that it supported Manila's blossoming ties with China.

The creator of 'Dad’s Army', Jimmy Perry, has died
aged 93 after a brief illness.

The United Nations has named comic-book superhero Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador to fight for gender equality.

The leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales met British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday to discuss what part the three nations will play in the Brexit process.

Tom Hayden, whose name became forever linked with the celebrated Chicago 8 trial and Vietnam War protests has died; he was 76.

British transport minister Chris Grayling will make a statement to parliament about airport expansion in south east England tomorrow.

The first buses carrying migrants from the 'Jungle' camp have left for shelters in central France ahead of the demolition of the camp.

Justin Bieber stormed off stage after asking the fans to stop screaming in the gaps between songs. "I don't think it's necessary when I'm trying to say something and you guys are screaming," he said to the crowd at the Manchester Arena, before dropping the microphone and exiting the stage.

Twenty-six people were injured on Saturday morning when a double-decker bus crashed into a railway bridge in London.

51 – Domitian, Roman emperor (d. 96)
1503 – Isabella of Portugal (d. 1539)
1713 – Marie Fel, French soprano and actress (d. 1794)
1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American stuntwoman
and educator (d. 1921)
1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919)
1882 – Sybil Thorndike, English actress (d. 1976)
1895 – Jack Warner, English actor and singer (d. 1981)
1904 – Moss Hart, American director and playwright (d. 1961)
1909 – Bill Carr, American runner (d. 1966)
1910 – Stella Brooks, American singer (d. 2002)
1916 – Anne Sharp, Scottish soprano and actress (d. 2011)
1923 – Robin Day, English journalist (d. 2000)
1927 – Gilbert Bécaud, French singer-songwriter,
pianist, and actor (d. 2001)
1927 – Jean-Claude Pascal, French actor and singer (d. 1992)
1929 – George Crumb, American composer and educator
1933 – Ronald Kray, English gangster (d. 1995)
1934 – Margie Masters, Australian golfer
1939 – F. Murray Abraham, American actor
1947 – Kevin Kline, American actor and singer
1950 – Gabriella Sica, Italian poet and author
1955 – Cheryl Studer, American soprano and actress
1960 – Ian Baker-Finch, Australian golfer and sportscaster
1960 – B. D. Wong, American actor
1962 – Andrea Horwath, Canadian politician
1971 – Dervla Kirwan, Irish actress
1980 – Casey Wilson, American actress and screenwriter


2015 – Maureen O'Hara, Irish-American actress and singer (b. 1920)
2012 – Peggy Ahern, American actress (b. 1917)
1991 – Gene Roddenberry, American captain, screenwriter, and producer, created Star Trek (b. 1921)
1669 – William Prynne, English lawyer and author (b. 1600)
1260 – Qutuz, Egyptian sultan

1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of
King Louis IX of France.

1648 – The Peace of Westphalia is signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years' War.

1857 – Sheffield F.C., the world's oldest association football club still in operation, is founded in Sheffield, England.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1926 – Harry Houdini's last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.

1929 – "Black Thursday" stock market crash on the
New York Stock Exchange.

1945 – Founding of the United Nations.

1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support
to South Vietnam.

1973 – The Yom Kippur War ends.

1975 – In Iceland, 90% of women take part in a national strike, refusing to work in protest of gaps in gender equality.

2003 – Concorde makes its last commercial flight.

The Good Old Days.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

Day 298 of 366: World Polio Day
From down under 'Bauer Media has announced its executive team' says Miranda Ward at Mumbrella and Fiona Legdin is joining the company 'as general manager of Fashion, Health & Beauty – which includes Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Dolly, Shop and Men’s Style."

In other changes Jayne Ferguson 'has been named general manager of women’s entertainment & lifestyle, which will include The Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day' and Cornelia Schulze, 'becomes general manager of the food and homes segments.' There are lots of other changes as well and for those click here.

In the United Kingdom, 'the board of ABC has announced the appointment of Derek Morris as its Chairman Designate' reports the Professional Publishers Association.
He will start his ABC duties at the next meeting of the audit bureau to be held in December and he replaces Sally Cartwight O.B.E. who has 'chaired the board since 2010 and reaches the end of her allotted term of office.'
"As the Chairman Designate I would like to thank [Sally Cartwright]... and look forward to ensuring ABC continues to provide independent media brand measurement standards that both media owners and advertisers trust.” For more, click here.

New Orleans Magazine marks its 50th anniversary
at soirée.
'Time Warner has agreed to be acquired by AT&T' reports Advertising Age. The deal is worth $86,000,000,000 with part due in cash and part due in stocks. However a President Trump would block the merger and he argues that 'such media combinations leave too much power concentrated among too few companies, including ones he says are hostile to his presidential bid' and, of course 'rigging the election for Hillary Clinton.' For more of Trump's views click here.

Investors in Time Warner will get around $110 a share but according to CBS the deal may not be completed much before the end of next year.
Vanity Fair Swoops Up L.A. Times Film Writer.

'Quebecor Media Group has announced the appointment of Randy Mauskopf as its director of media creativity solutions for Toronto’s English market' says
His new job starts today and he will be 'responsible for media creativity business development for Quebecor’s entire line of English-Language magazines.'

Mr. Mauskopf 'was previously the director, media creativity, Quebec TV/Digital at Bell Media in Toronto.' For more, cliquez ici.
'Barron's is planning to announce lay-offs' this week says Peter Sterne at Ed Finn, the editor wrote this in an email 'that he accidentally sent to the entire Wall Street Journal newsroom.'

"Are we planning to go to the employees we are laying off at Barron's next week and offer them 1x the standard package. That could create some problems. Please advise." Erm... not as many problems as accidentally sending the email to the entire newsroom we suspect. For more, click here.

'Keith Olbermann knows the question before it is asked' writes Richard Sandomir at the New York Times and the question is 'how, after a career spent anchoring news and sports shows on ESPN, MSNBC, NBC and Fox, has he come to be delivering anti-Donald J. Trump commentaries on GQ magazine’s website?'

Mr. Olbermann's relationships with media companies in the past have been well, although perhaps not totally accurately, documented, but for all of this, Keith is not downhearted, in fact he feels liberated. For more from Mr. Olbermann via Richard Sandomir, click here.
Among other things he was the ex-publisher of Harper's Bazaar as well as helping with the magazine George published by John F. Kennedy Jr.

As well as being the publisher of Harper's Bazaar he was also publisher of Elle 'after learning about the fashion world as a salesman at a men’s retail store' reports Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post. In fact, in an impressive career Mr. Portale worked for many magazines with a house-hold name. For more in his life, click here for Mr. Kelly's report.

Ian Hislop, editor of 'Private Eye has welcomed with “grim satisfaction” the conviction of a former police chief for child sex abuse, more than two decades after he won a libel case against the magazine' says Press Gazette. The former rozzer Gordon Anglesea was convicted last week of 'four counts of indecent assault and cleared of one count of buggery between 1982 and 1987, against two boys' says the report' and when this all occurred back in 1991 Anglesea sued several media outlets, and won. 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....



WWD does good email subscription promotions.  This one is hard to resist.  It’s got a good subject line – “URGENT:  Prices Going up in July.  Lock in Lower Rate Today”.  The email subject line is just like envelope teaser copy – it has to pull prospects into the promotion and this one accomplishes the mission.

The copy and design is clean, colorful and loaded with benefits – the biggest of course is “Beat the prince increase!  Last chance for Current Rate”.

And, if you order with this offer, you can also save 20% on the 6 month online access price and pay only $59.  It looks as if this might actually be a last chance.  And, it’s always good to think a last chance offer might actually be a last chance for something.  This offer was overused in mail efforts – but you don’t see it as often in email. The offer is used to good effect here.

There’s a prominent Subscribe button to make ordering easy.  Following that is a picture of the web site and arrows that call out the features of the site.  Clearly, WWD offers a lot for the money.  And as subscription promotions are all about the offer, this is a winner. To see a larger version of the offer, click here.

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.