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

April 21st 2017

is the 111th day of the year and there are 254 days remaining until the end of the year.


More than 50,000 police and soldiers have been "fully mobilized" after the killing of a police officer in Paris.

TV show The X-Files will return for a 10-part series, bringing Fox Mulder and Dana Scully back to our screens because the truth is still out there - fake truth and true truth.

The evacuation of Syrian civilians and fighters from four besieged towns, part of a swap deal between the warring sides, resumed on Friday after a 48-hour halt.

There is fresh evidence suggesting that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 is most likely located to the north of a main search zone, Australian scientists say.

Cuba Gooding Sr, the lead singer of 70s soul group Main Ingredient and father of actor Cuba Gooding Jr, has died at the age of 72.

Massachusetts officials on Thursday were preparing to release the brain of New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez to his family for scientific study the day after he was found hanged in his prison cell, a death investigators formally ruled a suicide.

Harvey Keitel, the Oscar-nominated actor whose movies include "Taxi Driver" and "Pulp Fiction," has lost a lawsuit he brought over a starring role he did not get in E*Trade commercials.

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of a House committee with broad investigative powers, said on Thursday that it is possible he could leave office before his term finishes.

Former England footballer Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44.

Arkansas has carried out its first execution since 2005 - the first of eight which the state had originally planned to carry out by lethal injection over a period of 11 days.

1671 – John Law, Scottish economist (d. 1729)
1816 – Charlotte Brontë, Cornish-English novelist and poet (d. 1855)
1889 – Marcel Boussac, French businessman (d. 1980)
1915 – Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor (d. 2001)
1926 – Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom

1930 – Hilda Hilst, Brazilian author, poet, and playwright (d. 2004)
1939 – Reni Santoni, American actor
1948 – Dieter Fromm, German runner
1957 – Jesse Orosco, American baseball player
1965 – Karen Foster, American model and actress
1965 – Teri Sue Wood, American illustrator

2016 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist,
producer, and actor (b. 1958)
2003 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter,
pianist, and activist (b. 1933)
1974 – Chic Harley, American football player (b. 1894)
1736 – Prince Eugene of Savoy (b. 1663)

1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

1782 – The city of Rattanakosin, now known internationally as Bangkok, is founded on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.

1918 – World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.

1965 – The 1964–1965 New York World's Fair opens for its second and final season.

1987 – The Tamil Tigers are blamed for a car bomb that detonates in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo, killing 106 people.

1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.

2004 – Five suicide car bombers target police stations in and around Basra, killing 74 people and wounding 160.

2012 – Two trains are involved in a head-on collision near Sloterdijk, Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, injuring 116 people.

The Myths of Circulation.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 111 of 365: Queen's Official Birthday (Falkland Islands).

The Sun is still the biggest seller with 1,602,320 copies but it is nearly 8% down on the sale for the same period last year. The Daily Mirror fell nearly 12% with its sister Sunday Mirror falling even more at nearly 16%. In fact the '"Sundays" did not fair well at all, the Sunday People was down 16% year-on-year as was the Sunday Daily Star. The Sunday Post faired better but still had a year-on-year drop of over 12% bettering the Sunday Mail by 2%.

The Sunday Times did better at 2.38% increase compared to March 2016 and the daily version did even better at 4.79%. Both Telegraphs dropped, the Sunday by by nearly 1%; the daily dropped with over 4%.

History Today is having its most significant change since 1980 and introducing a new format, 40 extra pages in each issue, and premium quality paper to enhance the magazine’s illustrations. New fonts and page layouts will significantly increase the readability of the print magazine. The introduction of new regular features will underscore History Today’s geographical and chronological range. A striking new logo completes the transformation.

We hope the cover (left) of the new design is not indicative of what is to be found inside because is seems a bit boring to us. Simon Esterson from Esterson Associates, whose team has produced the new design, says that the “overall aim has been to display the text and illustrations better, while giving the magazine a clearer structure.” History Today publisher Andy Patterson says “the new design reaffirms our commitment to the primacy of print and to publishing the best serious history magazine in the world.”

Time is out with its list of 100 most influential people but frankly does anyone really care? Split into five groups the list just seems rather silly. James Corden is, we are sure, a nice guy. But what does he influence, his television show goes out in the early hours of the morning, so he in basically influencing insomniacs! Ivanka Trump is a pioneer influencer, really? She may influence her father but that is about all. Theresa May is an influencer in the "leaders" column... but let's face it, this time last year how many people had actually even heard her name? For the complete list, click here.

'China, thanks to its closed ecosystem, is a market publishers would do well to study in more depth to see the future of media consumption' says Fabian von Heimburg based in China - so if anyone would know, it would probably be Herr von Heimburg. You can read his thoughts here, or view them below.

'Star Tribune, the independent Minneapolis, Minn. newspaper, is launching a quarterly magazine' says Becky Peterson at It will be quarterly and delivered to over 200,000 newspaper readers. You can also purchase the magazine on the newsstand. For more, click here.

Day 110 of 365: UN Chinese Language Day (United Nations).
Ruth Sulzberger Holmberg has died at the age of 96. She was the publisher of 'The Chattanooga Times in Tennessee for nearly three decades' says Robert D. McFadden at the New York Times 'and... was a member of the family that controls The New York Times' but it was her challenging 'racial barriers, political skulduggery and environmental adversaries' that she will be remembered for.

She started as publisher of the Chattanooga Times back in 1964 and stayed with the with the company until it was sold in 1999. For more, click here.
Well in a way it does... as Chris Sutcliffe at says 'while the majority of the world is panicking about the destabilizing effects of Brexit, a Trump presidency and other potentially catastrophic developments, some publications are rejoicing' - and indeed they are The Spectator, Vanity Fair and of course The Economist.

So what is the strategy involving members of a family that are famous for being famous - basically it is to make sure The Economist is the 'antidote to the Kardashian coverage. Clearly there is an audience for that.' Sounds like a good strategy to us - for more, click here.

Half the secret of circulation success is learning to ignore the misconceptions and misinformed "musts." Circulators need to get over risk aversion and think beyond the confines of what's “expected.”

In our business, it's often easier to say what success isn't rather than what it is. After all, your circulation success might be my disaster. It's all relative. That's particularly worth keeping in mind these days, as we slog through a confusing circulation climate.
While we obviously need to recognize and respond to the fact that some major factors (like consumer buying patterns) are changing our business in fundamental ways, it's sanity-preserving to remember that tough times come and go. We'll hack out solutions, and things will stabilize sooner or later (at least for a time).
In the meantime, it might be useful to take a critical look at some of the common myths regarding how success should be defined and achieved in the circulation arena. Some of these originated with non-circulation management. But at times, circulators can be surprisingly susceptible to buying into these misconceptions.

There's a “secret formula” for success.
Would that this were true, but it's not. Circulation success requires the hard work and close involvement of executives who understand their jobs and the markets of their magazines. Neither of these items can be expressed as a formula.

And let's not forget that success is comprised of many small victories, as well as an overall vision. Professional circulation and market knowledge enable sound strategic thinking and planning, but they also come into play in a big way on a day-to-day basis. Circulation is not a rote process in which numbers are fed into models and the right rate base and readership mix automatically emerge. Just like editorial or ad sales, circulation requires a good deal of vigilance and commitment, combined with an ability to think on one's feet and overcome short- and long-term obstacles.
One of my favorite observations about circulation is that you're either six months too early or six months too late. The underlying truth in this somewhat sardonic statement is that success requires close and continual monitoring of all of the pulse points. It's the only way to ensure that you don't get blindsided by a shift in pay-up, renewals or other critical factors.
On the other hand, no circulator can succeed for long without the creativity to pull through on those occasions when the truly unavoidable occurs. Anyone who's found herself alone in the office on a pre-audit holiday weekend struggling to figure out how to drop 600 duplicates off a file of 20,000 names with no time left for traditional solutions can attest to this. (Hmmm…What's that directory over there in the bookcase?) Ditto for anyone who's been told at the last minute that a mailing's delivery has run amuck, or that an agent's promised numbers won't be materializing after all, or…well, you get the picture.

Only large companies can succeed today.
The fact is that many different types of circulation operations in publishing companies of all sizes are achieving success. Within the context of what's appropriate to your market and budget, if there's a will (and the skill), there's a way. Granted, it's sometimes difficult to remember this when you're working at the speed of light.
Big success doesn't require big resources, and big resources in no way guarantee success. A large promotion budget can't compensate for bad management. If a circulator doesn't have testing savvy, or passively allows a policy of heavy reliance on low-pay soft offers, the circulation base will be shaky. The only question is the monetary scale of the fiasco.
Circulators at smaller companies would do well to remember that larger budgets generally come with larger circulations — and their associated maintenance challenges. Let's also remember that even big magazines have spending restrictions, and that inept or lazy circulators can only buy themselves out of trouble for so long. Creative thinking is the only route to making the most effective use possible of what money and resources are available. The process of finding the best, lowest-cost ways to maintain your magazine's circulation or move it to the next level is the same regardless of the circulation or budget size.
That's why, even in today's environment, there's no substitute for a sound understanding of circulation and direct marketing fundamentals. You can't reinvent the business. If you abandon the basics, you'll flounder. You have to use best practices and work to refine them for your magazine.

Success comes from innovation.
While there's a core element of truth here, this idea too often goes awry in the degree of its application. Pioneers sometimes hit a gusher on their first try. But far more often, they succeed only after many failures — or wind up face-down in the dirt. I'm all for innovation, and more power to those who have the resources to take big risks. But for most of us, there's a lot to be said for applying our creativity in calculated, measured ways. We should study the pioneers, learn from their missteps and then adopt that innovation successfully. We can bide our time, keep reading the trade press and watching our competitors, and be ready to leap after they've spent their time and budgets learning the hard way. Good circulation executives are opportunists.
At the same time, the best circulators aren't afraid of a reasonable degree of innovation. They're confident enough in their knowledge to try a limited test of an idea that flies in the face of the common wisdom or the current pronouncements of the “experts.”

If you believe that you've spotted a new trend or market shift, responding to it may call for trying an unorthodox method. Small, persistent efforts to push the envelope with new acquisition and renewal ideas will pay off over time, and may even produce the occasional bonanza. Don't be easily discouraged. Patience and persistence can accomplish a lot.

Success requires luck.
Being in the right place at the right time is always useful, but success favors those who are prepared to recognize and exploit opportunities. Those who keep their professional skills sharp and their eyes wide open are those who tend to end up in the right place at the right time. (Figuring out how to grow eyes in the back of your head would also be helpful. Frankly, I've become skeptical about evolution, because I figure that if it actually worked, all circulators would already have at least four eyes — and four arms, as well.)

Once success is achieved, you can coast and enjoy it.
Wrong. You're only as good as your last audit statement. Continuous effort and testing are required to exploit initial success and maintain achievements. Just about the time that you feel really successful, something new will come along or some major change will occur. And if you've gotten complacent, it will throw you for a loop.

You can succeed by maintaining a low profile and trying to keep everyone's feathers unruffled.
In today's publishing world, circulation is on the radar screen, like it or not. If you don't like it, be prepared to stagnate in lower-rung positions.

Successful circulation outcomes require developing the ability to think like a CEO. But that doesn't mean slavish attempts to placate management. It means figuring out their true goals and using your talent, skills and intelligence to show them how to achieve these in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Circulators need to get over risk aversion and think beyond the confines of what's “expected.” Acting calm and controlled is key in demonstrating that you've done your homework and can manage any outcome, positive or not. But it's also important to take risks. You need to put your ideas out there and make it clear that you are (in that unavoidable phrase) thinking out of the box.
The quickest way to your CEO's heart is to demonstrate well-founded confidence. Be original. Be a straight-shooter. Be innovative and action-oriented. Just be sure that your ideas are well thought-out before you present them. Fumbling around while answering questions will overshadow a good idea.
Also be willing to keep learning and expanding your skills. And admit mistakes promptly and without apology. Everyone, including the CEO, fails sometimes. Don't be afraid to examine what occurred. Avoid placing blame. Figure out what went wrong and resolve to build on that knowledge. If you take this approach, apologies are unnecessary, because every “mistake” becomes an opportunity to learn and develop.
Be competitive and tenacious. Set clear circulation goals and push to achieve them. But never forget that achieving goals requires flexibility and generosity. You must be able to respond to constantly changing business environments. And a sure sign of a true leader is sharing achievements with everyone who's contributed.

Tomorrow, if you are reading this today, is a major day in the United Kingdom, there will be some fanfare for sure, but all in all it will be a quiet day for a lady that celebrates her 91st birthday. I am talking of course of my great Aunt Ada… no… just jesting…  I am talking of the Queen Regnant, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

I have never met the Queen but she must know me quite well, why else would she try and have me arrested? I know, you think I am jesting, but alas, I am not.

It was back in late seventies and a group of us were out enjoying a pleasant Christmas Eve meal. It was back in the halcyon days when British Rail still ran trains on holidays unless the I.R.A. were trying to blow them up and even then the trains ran. We had a good meal, a good old British Roast as the saying goes consisting of New Zealand lamb for me although everyone else chose the Turkey. Anyway, it was a good evening, full of good food, good wine and good friends.

On our way from St James’s Street to Victoria Station via Green Park, it started to snow, snow quite badly actually which of course demanded chorus after chorus of White Christmas as recorded by Bing Crosby. Frosty the Snowman was included and all too soon we found ourselves outside the gates of Buckingham Palace – and the lights were on. It seemed only right that we should sing to Her Majesty, and we chose Silent Night because it was the only carol we all knew.

In good heart and excellent voice we sang out loud and strong. I am pretty sure I saw the curtains flutter and several jewels flash in the lights of the palace. It could have been her, probably was and we waited to see if she would send out some mulled wine and a slice of figgy pudding.

Whether she did or not we will never know because when we heard “Halt – make way for the Queen’s Guard” we ran like Usain Bolt from the Palace to Victoria Station in about 3 minutes flat. Not bad considering the booze we had consumed and while we believe to this day the guards were after us on horseback it was probably our drunken state that played tricks on us. I have sent Her Majesty a birthday card and a copy of this article… I’ll let you know if I hear back.

Said most think by James Cagney, although he actually said "you dirty yellow-bellied rat" but a magazine that did label a prisoner a rat is being sued.

It seems as though a magazine called Don Diva is being sued by an inmate who says the magazine 'once worked as a government informant and testified against a murderous Brooklyn drug lord.' For more of this rather intriguing tale, click here.
Nat Geo
teams up
with Mashable,
theSkimm and
others for new
digital venture.
Politico is trying to
turn the business model
for magazines on its head.

We all know Photoshop can make things look better, but sometimes less is best...
'Essentials Magazine – a print product focused on food, wine and art previously only available as a limited-release tourism publication – is expanding its offering and hitting newsstands, with its owner saying boutique magazines will continue to thrive in physical form' reports Abigail Dawson at Mumbrella.
The publication was launched in 2006 and was mainly available in Victoria in Australia 'as a free press 50-page magazine, which has been distributed to restaurants, wineries and food providers' says Ms. Dawson, but now it is ready to expand.

It did open up an iPad edition in 2012 but that seems to be a small component of the magazine's circulation so it will be interesting to see what happens. For more of Ms. Dawson's report, click here.

Google 'may build an adblocker into Chrome'

Day 109 of 365: Primrose Day (United Kingdom).
Tom Armstrong was the chief revenue officer at Fairfax Media in Australia but that all changed yesterday when he departed. His chair had only just stopped swiveling when Matt Rowley was appointed as the 'new chief revenue officer for Australian Metro Publishing' says Abigail Dawson at and he joined the company back in 2014 so knows what is what, who is who and where all the revenue opportunities lie! For more, click here.

Mind you, Mr. Rowley was not the only person to get a new position down under yesterday if you will excuse the phrase, 'Fairfax Media has also appointed Andrew Mudgway as national sales director – agency' scribes Ms. Dawson and you can get the information on that by clicking here.
'People magazine has named her the "World's Most Beautiful Woman" for a record fifth time' reports the C.B.C. in Canada and frankly we think there has to be far more important stuff to report on in Canada than a southern lass born in Smyrna Georgia. OK, she is beautiful... with her money we would all be beautiful! Are we jealous - absolutely! For more, click here.

'More than a month after 40 people at Us Weekly were told they’d be out of a job' says Keith J. Kelly a the New York Post, they still seem to have one. You'd be wrong if you thought this was all party's giving a damn about the staff, it all has to do with 'waiting to hear if federal antitrust regulators will approve the $100 million purchase' says Mr. Kelly.

It seems as though approval was due in the middle of this month, now it seems as if it will be closer to the end of it. Are we the only ones hoping the sale is not approved and the staff get to keep their jobs, albeit at a company that seemingly doesn't give a damn? For more, click here.

Cosmopolitan Recruits Editorial Talent From Entertainment Weekly and O Magazine. City magazines, dependent
on print, face uncertain future amid wave of deals.

That is what is happening to the Daily Nebraskan. Currently the somewhat mis-named publication is produced twice a week, but 'the student newspaper will change the format and frequency of its print issue next fall, after Publications Board members voted on a new concept for the newspaper and online platform at a Tuesday night meeting' scribes Jessica Moore at the Daily Nebraskan.

Whether it will keep its name is not clear but given that magazine frequency can mean almost anything these days, smart money would probably be on maintaining the status quo. For more, click here.
Although in this case Leah, as in Leah Flickinger will be more than happy to do so as she has been made 'editor in chief of Bicycling' says

'Flickinger, who was named interim lead editor last month during an executive shake-up, will report to Rodale Group's Editorial Director Bill Strickland. Strickland was named group editorial director during the same leadership shuffle. He was previously Bicycling's top editor' says the report and for more, click here.

Day 108 of 365: International Day For Monuments and Sites; Friend's Day (Brazil).
'Tom Armstrong, chief revenue officer for Fairfax Media’s flagship metro division, has left the company' says Tim Burrowes at

His role within the company was recently changed but whether this had anything to do with the decision is not known, but notes Mr. Burrowes 'Armstrong has already gone.' Now whether this was all last minute, or planned in advance we do not know, however 'an announcement on future commercial leadership will be made this week' which we suspect is Australian for "he was pushed." For more, click here.

'Men’s Health is getting an overhaul under new-ish editor in chief Matt Bean' says Alexandra Steigrad at
If you remember Matt Bean replaced Bill Phillips last September but it is the current issue, the May issue that 'reveals his full editorial vision' scribes Ms. Steigrad. 'Drawing inspiration from old guidebooks, vintage style and repair guides and hiking maps, the new Men’s Health now features infographics, for example, that help filter everything from workouts and diet plans to what kind of suit best complements your body type.' For more, click here.


The reason the Brits are leaving Europe is simple...
It is to annoy the French.

Click here to read.

Day 107 of 365: World Hemophilia Day.
Allister Heath is the new editor at the Sunday Telegraph reports Freddie Mayhew at Press Gazette as current editor 'Ian MacGregor is leaving to take on a new Editor Emeritus role that will see him “act as a bridge between the editorial and commercial arms of the business”.'

He was once editor of City AM and also The Business, which closed shortly after his departure in 2008. Since then he was deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph and also an associate editor at The Spectator. For more of Mr. Mayhew's article, click here.
Ex-WebMD Exec Took Trade Secrets to Time Inc.:  Suit

Conde Nast Creates Snapchat Team for ‘GQ’, ‘Wired,’ ‘Self’

Modern Luxury to Buy Publisher of Hamptons Magazine

Why the Flats Sequencing System Should Be Scrapped

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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.