RICHARD RICCELLI ON ISSUES IN SUBSCRIPTION MARKETING
What happened when the irresistible force of Felix met the immutable laws of marketing…
In with the old, out with the new.
Received this full-text, online e-book as a gift in my holiday email from John Forde, the man who heads the Copywriter’s Roundtable. With thanks and best wishes to John, paying it forward to you. Enjoy!
THE WEEK tested and repeated (with contextual changes) this 5-year / $250 renewal. As traditional print magazines become increasingly unattractive to readers in general, it’s natural to seek long-term commitments from current subscribers. And the marketing math makes it enticing:
Most magazines have three prices. The cover price. The subscription price. And free – the web price. In his new book, Chris Anderson of Long Tail fame argues that free may well be the most profitable price point of the three. He makes an interesting, instinctively counterintuitive, and yet often persuasive case for disruptive, game-changing zero.
This works great up to a point…
How to turn soaring gas prices and a sputtering economy into new subscribers.
…and Passover, too, somehow escaped as an excuse for the slowdown.
The publisher is the “24th richest person in the world.” And he resisted the urge to call it “Prokhorov.”
A zero-cost, all-profit newsletter for presidents to give free to their board of directors. And a renewal program with frequent-flier rewards in exchange for long, long flights with the magazine. Two ideas for the “Monday Morning Expert” column in Circulation Management magazine whose Associate Editor, Chandra Johnson-Greene, has asked me to contribute once or twice a month.
Condé Nast, the man, “was noted for his innovative publishing theories and flair for nurturing readers and advertisers…one of the most powerful purveyors of popular culture.” He started a magazine empire later made legendary by brilliant, billionaire publisher S.I. Newhouse. Proving again the rich are different from you and me. Which brings us to the launch of Condé Nast Portfolio…
Lessons from our latest in the quest to sell subscriptions on behalf of “The Wall Street Journal of Jewish newspapers.”
This is the BBDO Discipline, a useful four-step method for creating effective advertising and marketing. Learned while I worked at the Boston office of BBDO in the era of Phil Dusenberry and Allen Rosenshine (a golden time despite the fact the agency became better known to the general public as the outfit that set Michael Jackson’s hair on fire).
Idea: Suspense in copy is motivating. True? Answer inside…
Google: Grim reaper? Or savior of a dying industry? Let the fear, loathing and speculation begin.
Sniffing around for a new circulation idea? Smells like the New York Times is on to something …
What do you need to know to beat your control? The answers to this list of questions will provide a good start when working with outside creatives. Or—and especially—if you attempt to do it yourself.
Costs are up. Response is down. Circulation is falling. Lists are exhausted. Offers are fatigued. Rules are changing. Subscribers are wary. Has there ever been a better time for new ideas in circulation? Here are some things you can do now to survive the tough times so you can positively thrive when — if ever — the going gets good.
I’ve seen some bad ideas. Hell, I’ve been involved in some bad ideas. But if Lapham’s Quarterly lasts six months, it will give new meaning to “vanity publishing.”
…in a manner of speaking. If you substitute “publishing” for “Hollywood,” and “magazines” for “studios,” you’ll get the idea.
Do you like this award-winning cover? It was famous and infamous all at the same time. Raising contentious issues about what works best on newsstands. And who best to create — and control — the covers. I have some strong opinions of my own. But you make the call for yourself.
What we can learn from “Dilbert” — and the high cost of gasoline in Europe — about the most powerful offer in circulation marketing? A very different kind of cost / benefit analysis via Chris Anderson … yours FREE!
Initial post: What will the future of magazines look like? Something like Everywhere from the publishers of JPG. Click to see the launch and become part of the magazine — which is the essence of this new publishing model.
Update 1: Everywhere Magazine Suspends Publication. Too bad. But what’s more troubling is the Everywhere website — same as it ever was. Worse, it appears they are still taking orders. I hope it’s just a case of poor coordination and not a magazine trying to have it both ways. I wonder if Magazine Death Pool has heard about this.
Update 2: Ah, that’s better. Everywhere’s blog announces it has reached its final destination where the local time is midnight.
Here’s the latest in my mail from The Wall Street Journal. Ever since “two young men graduated from the same college,” whatever The Journal mails has been the avatar of subscription promotions. As they say, if you’re going to steal, steal smart.
Think politicians are ham-handed at changing the discussion? Check out how the newspapers that cover them frame their latest round of disastrous ABC subscription figures.
Where do good ideas begin? Some do-it-yourself advice. In three words. Or less.
Raise your hand: Subscribers getting old fast? Dwindling universe of prospects who even read print, much less subscribe to it? Two common circulation complaints. So what can you do to turn back the marketing clock? Study THE WEEK’s strategy to enroll young readers.
Here’s a list of tips, techniques, and truths to help you create winning subscription promotions. Do you know them all? Know a few more I should add? Reply before midnight.
The myth of subscription direct mail is it gets very little response. In fact, it gets 100% response. Readers either love it or hate it. Remember it or forget it. Open it or throw it away. And to a degree far greater than you might imagine, how customers respond to your marketing is controlled by you.