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

Jul 26th 2016

is the 208th day of the year and there are 158 days remaining until the end of the year.

 

TODAY'S NEWS HEADLINES:
The sun has fired out the three most powerful solar flares seen this year, NASA has revealed.

Two men armed with knives stormed a Catholic church in northern France and reportedly slit the throats of a priest and one other person.

The RBS banking group has warned 1.3 million customers they could be charged negative interest rates if the Bank of England cuts base rates below zero.

The Labour leadership contest could be halted for a rerun of nominations if the High Court rules Jeremy Corbyn must seek the backing of MPs to stand.

An aircraft powered by solar energy landed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates early Tuesday, after flying around the world without the use of fossil fuels.

Saudi Arabia has renewed a fatwa on Pokémon because it violates Islamic rules on gambling and uses images such as Christian crosses and Jewish stars.

The mother of the British man accused of wanting to kill Donald Trump has pleaded for him to be allowed home. Michael Sandford, 20, was detained during a rally at a Las Vegas casino on 18 June.

The US has warned North Korea that it faces "real consequences" over its continuing nuclear and missile tests.

Amazon's most extensive drone trials yet will take place in UK airspace after strict flying restrictions were lifted.

BORN TODAY:
1612 – Murad IV, Ottoman sultan (d. 1640)
1782 – John Field, Irish pianist and composer (d. 1837)
1819 – Justin Holland, American guitarist and educator (d. 1887)
1865 – Philipp Scheidemann, German journalist and politician, 10th Chancellor of Germany (d. 1939)
1886 – Lars Hanson, Swedish actor (d. 1965)
1894 – Aldous Huxley, English novelist and philosopher (d. 1963)
1895 – Gracie Allen, American actress and singer (d. 1964)
1895 – Jane Bunford, English giant (d. 1922)
1919 – James Lovelock, English biologist and chemist
1928 – Elliott Erwitt, French-American photographer and director
1928 – Stanley Kubrick, American director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer (d. 1999)
1930 – Barbara Jefford, English actress
1931 – Robert Colbert, American actor
1940 – Dobie Gray, American singer-songwriter
and producer (d. 2011)
1941 – Darlene Love, American singer
1945 – Helen Mirren, English actress and producer
1956 – Dorothy Hamill, American figure skater
1957 – Hart Hanson, American screenwriter and producer
1964 – Sandra Bullock, American actress and producer
1969 – Tanni Grey-Thompson, Welsh wheelchair racer and politician
1979 – Mageina Tovah, American actress
1982 – Christopher Kane, Scottish fashion designer

DIED TODAY:
2015 – Ann Rule, American police officer and author (b. 1931)
1994 – Terry Scott, English actor (b. 1927)
1992 – Mary Wells, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943)
1984 – Ed Gein, American murderer (b. 1906)
1867 – Otto, King of Greece (b. 1815)
1659 – Mary Frith, English pickpocket and fence (b. 1584)
1471 – Pope Paul II (b. 1417)
432 – Pope Celestine I

TODAY IN HISTORY:
1309 – Henry VII is recognized King of the Romans
by Pope Clement V.

1745 – The first recorded women's cricket match takes place near Guildford, England.

1803 – The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world's first public railway, opens in south London, United Kingdom.

1847 – Liberia declares its independence.

1882 – Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal at Bayreuth.

1882 – The Republic of Stellaland is founded in Southern Africa.

1887 – Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.

1891 – France annexes Tahiti.

1945 – The Labour Party wins the United Kingdom general election of July 5 by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power.

1946 – Aloha Airlines begins service from Honolulu International Airport.

1951 – Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premieres in London, England, United Kingdom.

1963 – An earthquake in Skopje, Yugoslavia (now in Macedonia) leaves 1,100 dead.

1965 – Full independence is granted to the Maldives.

1974 – Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis forms the country's first civil government after seven years of military rule.

2007 – Shambo, a black cow in Wales that had been adopted by the local Hindu community, is slaughtered due to a bovine tuberculosis infection, causing widespread controversy.

2009 – The militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram attacks a police station in Bauchi, leading to reprisals by the Nigeria Police Force and four days of violence across multiple cities.

2013 – A gunman kills six people in Hialeah, Florida, and gets fatally shot by police.

AND ANOTHER THING!
Republican Convention or Pokémon - HELP!
Click here to read.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
LATEST STRAIGHT TALK
Do magazine covers still matter?
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

Day 208 of 365: Day of National Significance (Barbados)
MEDIA MAVEN... REALLY?
According to the pagesix.com 'media maven' Tina Brown is to host a party for 'for ousted chancellor of the Exchequer and fellow “Remain” supporter George Osborne at her Manhattan home this week.'

According to the report the ousted chancellor is 'coming to New York to try to drum up trade with the US in the wake of his country’s shock exit from the European bloc.' OK, a couple of things here... firstly... who knew Tina Brown was even still around? Secondly, has anybody told the new chancellor that the ousted chancellor is banging the drum? And thirdly we don't know who is more pathetic, George Osborne for attending or Tina Brown for hosting.

Nothing against Lady Evans but if she is a media maven (def: expert or connoisseur) we would be hearing about this in Talk, or Newsweek two well-known projects Ms. Brown has been associated with.
A PUZZLE SOLVED FOR PUZZLER MAGAZINE.
'Puzzler Media has turned to Quadrant Subscription Services to answer the challenge of managing subscriptions across its portfolio of 50 titles' reports ppa.co.uk. Quadrant is part of the Air Business Group and their solution 'set to go live this autumn, will integrate with Puzzler Media's existing e-commerce platform' with payments 'processed in real-time' says the report. For more, click here.
RIP SAFARIR.
'Quebec-based Safarir magazine announced Monday that it will cease its operations' reports montrealgazette.com. It was initially published monthly in Quebec City from October 1987 but moved to Montreal in 2001.

'The team for the humor magazine said Monday on Facebook that the “grand adventure” had ended, citing the bankruptcy of their distributor last year and large printing costs, coupled with a sharp decline in advertising revenues. For more, click here.

How a Refinery29 Vet Is Reshaping Domino Into a Major Digital Player

ALL ABOARD FOR AMTRAK'S NEW VENTURE.
Hey if in planes, why not trains? 'Amtrak, looking to cast itself as a more upscale travel brand, is about to launch its first national magazine' says Claire Atkinson at the New York Post. The new magazine is called The National and says midlandpaper.com 'will celebrate America and the experience of travel.' Jordan Heller is the editor-in-chief and says foliomag.com 'The National will be based out of Ink’s New York office, with Anna Szpunar as publisher.'
THE U.S.P.S. - WHO IS TO BLAME?
It does seem as though the Untied States Postal Service has had more than its fair share of problems of late, and some of us have been wondering why. The good folks at Dead Tree Edition have supplied that answer and they say 'if you want to understand why the U.S. Postal Service seems so dysfunctional, look no further than its governing board.' The board consists of eleven positions but says the report 'now it's down to three members -- the Postmaster General, the Deputy Postmaster General, and a former Congressman -- and eight vacancies.'

So why eight vacancies you may ask... happily, Dead Tree Edition will answer that question. For more, click here.
Fortune Launches
‘Fortune Unfiltered’ Podcast
Voices of the Midwest for the Midwest: New Missouri-based magazine focuses on the 'fly-over' states.

Day 207 of 365:
ARE THESE CELEBRITY MAGAZINES WORTH READING?
This of course pre-supposes that some celebrity magazines are worth reading, but the New York Post looks at some like Rachael Ray Every Day, Martha Stewart Living, the Wizard of Oz, The good Life and more. For more, click here.
WILL SHE STILL YAHOO?
Marissa Ann Mayer, computer scientist and current president and CEO of Yahoo is probably happy today despite the rumors that she will finally quit Yahoo. 'People have been talking about Mayer getting canned for years' says Chris O' Shea at adweek.com but according to Ms. Mayer she plans to stay put. “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo... it’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter” she said in a note to staffers, but there may $57,000,000 reasons she might think the "next chapter" has arrived. For more, click here.

SURPRISED? NOT REALLY.
'Some magazine publishers are earning more money from selling access to their archives than they are from digital sales via Apple’s iTunes store' reports Dominic Ponsford at Press Gazette. Now we suspect this is somewhat magazine specific, but says Mr. Ponsford 'digital magazine specialist Exact Editions... launched digital archives for Opera magazine... and Geographical' as well as other titles and the results are pretty impressive. 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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complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.
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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 CircSpot.com 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....

 
     
LES, POVS AND COMMENTARIES.
PROMOTIONS WE HAVE RECEIVED - AND WHY THEY ARE GOOD (OR BAD?)

 

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 nytimes.com. 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.
people
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.
people
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.
people
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.
people
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
'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?
people
(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!

I AM NOT A
MEDICARE RECIPIENT!


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 CircSpot.com 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 CircSpot.com 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.