Consultant’s Corner – November 2016

//Consultant’s Corner – November 2016

Consultant’s Corner – November 2016

CONSULTANTS’ CORNER (by ESP) – November 2016

This month’s helpful advice comes from Jo Ann Binz, Quality Circulation Services.

Back to Basics – New Acquisitions

In this world of 24/7 connectivity and instant gratification, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon using all the latest electronic marketing methods and pushing aside the tried-and-true. Because your subscribers may be becoming more electronically over-saturated – why not consider taking your marketing program back to basics?

If incorporated correctly into the marketing mix, these channels can be effective as well as cost effective.

Direct Mail

Despite all the electronic hoopla, direct mail still works. Direct mail does not have to be expensive if it is managed correctly.

The advantages of mail:

  • It offers customers a chance to browse (vs. searching on a website). A print piece is great for finding things you never knew existed, while on the Web you are generally searching for something you already have in mind.
  • It can be integrated with online tactics: digital editions, mobile apps, social media, and commerce websites. A print package can raise awareness, drive people to your website, digital edition or Social sites.


  • There are a multitude of package formats; you can gang-run your package and save money – talk with your printing vendor
  • Stress benefits, benefits, benefits
  • Use “you,” put yourself in the reader’s shoes
  • Don’t give away too much
  • No one magic format that works for all titles; the #1 rule of direct mail is test, test, and test

Forced Free Trials

  • If you have a good list of prospective subscribers, a forced free trial program can be an inexpensive way to keep file size where you need it to be with the desired demographics.
  • FFT’s can be executed through multiple channels – Tipons on sample issues – Eblasts – Direct mail – whatever fits into your budget.


  • Be sure to have a conversion series in place when yo set up the list so you don’t lose time converting these prospects into subscribers – strike while the fire is hot.
  • The conversion series should start with the first free issue to “introduce” the program – why are you sending this publication.
  • Be sure to communicate that this is a free trial to avoid angry calls and be up front with your offer.


They are “in your face” and have to be dealt with to get to the issue, so grab the audience’s attention when a print issue is received.


  • Tip-ons can be inexpensive – gang-print your tips/cover wraps for the entire year for some savings. If they are all the same size it is just a plate and color change. Your printer can store them for use when needed.
  • Negotiate with your printer. If they do all your printing you may be able to get a reduction.
  • Be sure to insist on approving a printed piece to check placement of the address information before mailing. (check the printer addresses on the ORDER CARD and not on the polybag.)
  • Insert Cards
  • Insert cards have been covered in depth in recent articles so I won’t go into it.

Briefly, be sure to switch them up to avoid boredom and trace the responses to your cards by issue, by offer and by color to determine what works best.


Email is fast, easy, inexpensive and provides nearly immediate results. But inboxes are stuffed full of promotions and offers. How do you make yours work for you?


  • Consider informational emails {what’s new in the magazine, are there new features on the web that subscribers can access}; engage your subscribers with the brand instead of always trying to “sell” them something
  • Use your email to reinforce other efforts. Time your email to hit a week after the mailed package, or issue, arrives {the printed piece goes first because it has a longer shelf life}
  • Keep your emarketing copy short – use links to website for deeper info
  • Highlight your satisfaction guarantee and that all transactions are secure
  • Always include a phone number and email address for Customer Service


Newsletters are meant to be informative but are also an inexpensive tool for reinforcing other new or renewal efforts.

  • Use your newsletters as a promotional piece because you don’t know how many are being forwarded – subscribe buttons (top, bottom, sides), banner ads etc.
  • When a subscriber clicks on the article in the newsletter, link to the website – check their current status – can you set up a pop-up to renew or offer a sub? Don’t forget to take them back to the newsletter when they are done.

In Touch is a monthly newsletter by ESP Computer Services. Read the full November 2016 version.

2017-04-04T01:31:06+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|Industry Insights|

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