Advertisement

Direct Mail Marketing Trends for Magazine Publishers

by Elaine Tyson October 14, 2010

3. Voucher packages are ubiquitous
Creative people hate this format for obvious reasons. The good news is there are some smart publishing companies that realize adding selling features to the voucher can vastly improve its longevity and response. Stripped down voucher efforts don't work as well as they once did. There's an opportunity here for publishers with voucher control packages to soup them up at a reasonable cost and sell more subscriptions at an acceptable cost per order.

4. Testing is teetering on the brink
Budget shrinkage accounts for some reluctance to test. Marketers who come out of print publishing know it's important to test continuously. There is a lot of "tweaking" and package "downsizing" going on at the moment. Some new to the industry don't really understand testing or its importance to successful direct mail campaigns, and that is alarming.

Currently, most direct mail packages in the publishing industry seem to be #10 formats — not as many 6" x 9" or larger packages are being developed as a direct result of budget cut backs. I'm also seeing more double postcards, triple postcards and oversize postcard formats. It's good that magazine publishers realize the importance of being in the mail, but some need re-convincing that postcard formats don't always work and require careful testing.

It's tempting to wring your hands and sniffle over the state of direct mail in the magazine publishing industry today — whether you work on the creative side or on the publishing side as a circulation/audience development executive. We're past the golden age in terms of pure creativity at any price as well as in volume mailed each year. No one can spend the kind of money developing a new package that was routinely spent even a few years ago. Flooding the mail with excess volume is out. That's gone, and it's not coming back.

I choose to focus on what can be done instead of what can't. What magazine publishers need to stress now — and the successful ones know this — is devoting money to the most efficient sources of subscriptions. Being as aggressive as possible with every subscription source including direct mail and emphasizing true cross-platform subscription acquisition programs for all their magazines.

Testing the possible in direct mail — a better offer, a more attractive price or new premium while developing enewsletters, webinars, events and websites that brand each magazine and help drive sales and profits. It's actually a pretty exciting time for direct mail and for magazine publishers. Print is not going away any time soon, and neither is direct mail. It's important to work with the attitude that no matter how good your direct mail program is, there is almost always a way to make it better through testing.

In the meantime, should you find yourself in need of inspiration therapy from Bill Jayme, Martin Conroy, Joan Throckmorton, Frank Johnson, Linda Wells or Hank Burnett — and many others — come visit me at my office. I'll make the coffee, you bring the donuts. I have file cabinets full of the best of the best magazine subscription packages ever written and designed. We'll take a trip down memory lane together, then we'll figure out how to sell more subscriptions by tweaking, downsizing and selectively testing the important elements that are known to affect direct mail response. We will also stubbornly refuse to go away.

Elaine Tyson is President of Tyson Associates, a 28-year-old Connecticut-based outsource management firm with clients that include consumer, business and association publications.



 
 
 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:

MORE ON DIRECT MAIL >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

Is social media baffling to you?Fundraising coach Marc A. Pitman thinks we live in the most exciting time for nonprofits! In Nonprofit Social Media: The Fundraising Coach’s guide to nurturing relationships from your desk, he sets out to prove it. Nonprofit Social Media

Is social media baffling to you?Fundraising coach Marc A. Pitman thinks we live in the most exciting time for nonprofits! In Nonprofit Social Media: The Fundraising Coach’s guide to nurturing relationships from your desk, he sets out to prove it....

ORDER NOW

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more! Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more!...

ORDER NOW

 

MORE ON EMAIL >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing: Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen are cofounders of Optimizely.com, an user-friendly testing system that more than 2,000 organizations use A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers

A guide to delivering a better user experience through A/B testing:
Offers best practices and lessons learned from over 100,000 experiments run by over 2,000 Optimizely customersDetails a roadmap for how to use A/B testing to personalize your customer's web experience and a practical guide to start A/B testing todayAuthors Dan...

ORDER NOW

PDF FORMAT

<i>"Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated."</i> -- from <i>The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing</i> 

It's true. Email marketing is still going strong, and continues to be one of the most important factors in any marketing campaign. 

From the first six months of 2010 to the first six months of 2011 alone, there was a nearly 21 percent increase in email volume! The average number of emails received per day in the first six months of 2010 was 472, and during the first six months of 2011, the daily average increased to 571. Marketers are having success with their email campaigns and using it more and more.

That being the case, your email marketing campaign needs all the attention it can get, and knowing what works and what doesn't is the best way to start. That's where "The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing" comes in. 

The Guide is brought to you by the email marketing experts at DMIQ and their extensive research into one of the largest email campaign archives in the industry. On top of latest trends, it features 19 best practice chapters from today's email marketing thought leaders. You will learn how to create a relevant email program to nurture leads and drive sales, how to best use call-to-action visuals in your emails, and how to use social email to improve marketing effectiveness.

You’ll also learn:

•	Email Marketing Trends in 2011
•	Best Practices in Writing Subject Lines
•	The Strategy (and Tricks) for Improving Open Rate and Response
•	6 Tests to Improve Email Program Results
•	5 Best Practices for the Gangbusting Email Campaign
•	Best Practices for Improving Email Performance
•	6 Ways to Make Your Emails Mobile-Ready
•	Email Branding — The 16 Most Effective Strategies
•	11 Best Creative Practices for B-to-B Email Marketing
•	The Keys to Developing a Successful E-newsletter
•	How to Determine Your Customers’ Email Content Tolerance
•	How Email Marketers Can Optimize the Social Media Opportunity
•	…Just to name a few!

This comprehensive report also offers three in-depth case studies, so you can see practical examples of how these methods worked for real-life businesses. "The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing" is an essential tool for any business that ever sends an email. 

<b><u>100% Money-Back Guarantee</b></u>

Your order is risk-free. If you are not completely delighted with “The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing,” notify us within 30 days for a complete credit or refund, no questions asked.

<u>About DirectMarketingIQ</u>
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the go-to resource for direct marketers. Publishing books, special reports, case study stockpiles and how-to guides, it opens up a new world for those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data - including the world's most complete library of direct mail as well as a growing library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories - and proudly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, which is in PDF format. The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

PDF FORMAT "Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated." -- from The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing It's true....

ORDER NOW