For magazine publishers, media companies, information services companies—whichever moniker you go by–2015 has been a challenging year for magazine audience development. Response rates have dropped, and there is more demand for data about subscribers that they do not want to share.
It’s time for 2016 budgeting and planning for many companies. I think we should consider flipping many of the marketing plans upside down, act differently to improve results in 2016.
Here are some ideas I have that you can incorporate in your 2016 marketing efforts:
- Keep testing on larger email efforts.The incremental response differences add up—and you will learn more about your customers. There are many posts with testing ideas on my blog including this one.
- Review where telemarketing falls on your plan. Test it earlier, especially for subscribers without email addresses on file. Can you do some dual-pub efforts in one call?
- Use all available internal lists for your marketing efforts. Recently, I had positive results calling an internal list that had previously only been used for email efforts.
- Do list exchanges with partner companies or consider list trades with competitors.
- When setting up trade show exchanges, include sending out emails to the attendee list or the host company’s house list. This can net some brand new names for your database.
- Does your web site include ads and pop ups offering free subscriptions?
- If someone signs up for a quote or membership on your site, the welcome link/email can include an offer to subscribe.
- Can you test any direct mail, even an inexpensive tip-cover?
Today’s brands are multi faceted, including other components such as magazines, enewsletters, events, website membership and downloads, and research. Oftentimes, the audience development budget is still subscriber-focused (especially if the magazine is BPA or AAM audited and/or has periodicals mailing privileges).
If that holds true for your brand, it’s imperative that 1—magazine subscribers help support the entire brand and 2—“owners” of all the brand elements work together to help find invested, active users. Make sure your audience development guru know all the segments you are trying to reach.
The journey continues.