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

Aug 30th 2016

is the 243 day of the year and there are 123 days remaining until the end of the year.


Talks on Britain leaving the European Union must be finished by 2019, French President Francois Hollande has said.

Comedy legend Gene Wilder has died at the age of 83.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has had two officials executed by anti-aircraft gun, according to reports.

John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman has been denied parole for the ninth time.

A suspected suicide car bomber rammed the gates of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on Tuesday, killing the attacker and wounding at least three other people.

Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin, best known for True Blood and the X-Men films, will star in the new CBC-TV mystery drama Bellevue.

Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has announced she is splitting from her husband, former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, following yet another sexting revelation by Mr. Weiner.

Orders for British manufacturing exports hit a two-year peak in August following a Brexit-induced fall in sterling.

Dilma Rousseff says there is no justification for removing her as president of Brazil and called her impeachment trial a "coup".

The European Union says Ireland has given illegal tax benefits worth up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) to Apple Inc. and must now recover the unpaid back taxes from the U.S. technology company, plus interest.

Ice Road Truckers driver Darrell Ward has been
killed in a plane crash.

Deadly lightning has killed more than 300 reindeer in Norway.
323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in a lightning
storm last Friday.

Pope Francis had an audience with Mark Zuckerberg.

1334 – Peter of Castile (d. 1369)
1808 – Princess Ludovika of Bavaria (d. 1892)
1842 – Grand Duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna of Russia (d. 1849)
1870 – Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia (d. 1891)
1896 – Raymond Massey, Canadian-American
actor and playwright (d. 1983)
1906 – Joan Blondell, American actress and singer (d. 1979)
1917 – Denis Healey, English soldier and politician,
Chancellor of the Exchequer (d. 2015)
1918 – Harold Atcherley, English businessman
1923 – Vic Seixas, American tennis player
1927 – Bill Daily, American actor
1927 – Piet Kee, Dutch organist and composer
1943 – Jean-Claude Killy, French skier
1946 – Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
1946 – Peggy Lipton, American model and actress
1958 – Muriel Gray, Scottish journalist and author
1982 – Andy Roddick, American tennis player

2007 – Michael Jackson, English author and journalist (b. 1942)
1979 – Jean Seberg, American actress (b. 1938)
1483 – Louis XI of France (b. 1423)

1464 – Pope Paul II succeeds Pope Pius II as the 211th pope.

1791 – HMS Pandora sinks after having run aground on the outer Great Barrier Reef the previous day.

1835 – Melbourne is founded.

1836 – The city of Houston is founded.

1914 – World War I: Germans defeat the Russians in the
Battle of Tannenberg.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of Alam el Halfa begins.

1945 – Hong Kong is liberated from Japan by British Armed Forces.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1991 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Azerbaijan declares independence from Soviet Union.

1999 – East Timor votes for independence from Indonesia
in a referendum.

2003 – While being towed across the Barents Sea, the de-commissioned Russian submarine K-159 sinks, taking nine of her crew and 800 kg of spent nuclear fuel with her.

2014 – Prime Minister of Lesotho Tom Thabane flees to South Africa as the army allegedly stages a coup.

Stop changing the goal, the goal, IS THE GOAL!
Click here to read.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
The Good Old Days.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

Day 243 of 366: International Day of the Disappeared.
'Nearly a third of native ad placements fail to comply with federal disclosure guidelines' reports Joe Mandese at A report released yesterday by Polar lists six key items from their research. Of the 137 native placements across 65 publishers that were looked at Mr. Mandese says 'only 55% of them utilized the term “sponsored” and 4.5% used the term “advertisement,” adhering to Federal Trade Commission guidelines that native ad placements are explicitly labeled as sponsored advertising content.' For more, click here.
OK, we admit it, is not a lover of social media mainly because it is neither "social" nor "media." Our consternation about publishers handing over their content to the likes of Facebook is well known, because at the end, there will only be one winner - and that will be Facebook.

Yesterday we reported that machines have taken over at Facebook and that Facebook’s “trending” news module once tended by humans in now left up to an algorithm to generate news items. How is it doing? Sam Theiman at The Guardian reports 'the results, so far, are a disaster. Over the weekend, the fully automated Facebook trending module pushed out a false story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly, a controversial piece about a comedian’s four-letter word attack on right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, and links to an article about a video of a man masturbating with a McDonald’s chicken sandwich.'

So if you see a news story on Facebook telling of the end of the world, it will probably be false... let's hope it is. Now if you are still not convinced we are correct about Facebook, then Tanya Dua at may convince you because Tanya spoke to one of the aforementioned "humans" who used to work at the company, for that, click here.

New Yorker Cover Gets Virtual Reality Treatment
'When Gannett officially confirmed in July that the USA Today publisher was taking over the North Jersey Media Group... employees were told that they were all officially part of the Gannett family.' Sounds good huh? Well perhaps not so much because Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post reports 'copy editors, designers and production people were summoned to an all-hands meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and told that they would all have to apply for new jobs.'

Those that apply will have to wait until the middle of next month to find out if their employment will be continued... what is they say... you cannot choose your family? For more, click here.

Day 242 of 366: Telugu Language Day (India)
'Quadrant will provide the weekly current affairs and political magazine with subscriptions management for both its domestic and overseas readers' reports extending 'The Spectator's relationship with Quadrant's parent company, the Air Business Group.'

'Stuart Lacey, Managing Director of Quadrant Subscription Services, said: “The extension of our partnership with The Spectator across the Air Business Group is a huge vote of confidence for the high caliber service that the whole company provides.' Quadrant looks after over 400 titles from their centers in Sussex, Missouri and Manila. For more, click here.

Rolling Stone contributing editor Joe Levy is stepping into the void at The Village Voice created by the departure of Will Bourne, no relation, as far as we know of Jason.

'“We appreciate Joe coming on board to help while we look for a new E-I-C,” owner Peter Barbey said in a statement to FishbowlNY.'

The management of The Village Voice are looking for a full time replacement, but plan to take their time. For more, click here.

Facebook has 'changed Trending Topics to rely on algorithms to surface and sort news, the company announced on Friday, just months after the section was the center of controversy over alleged editor bias' reports Jason Abbruzzese at

'The move "will make the product more automated and will no longer require people inside Facebook to write descriptions for trending topics," the company noted in a blog post.' This probably accounts for the fact that my "Trending" on Facebook currently says "Bea Arthur, 9.6k people talking about this, Rob Lowe, 9.9k people talking about this and Anthony Weiner..." you get the idea. Quite why anyone at Facebook would think this would induce anyone to do anything is beyond us, and if we could find a human at Facebook we would tell them. If we knew why Bea Arthur was trending, we might feel different. The question is, is Facebook dumb for doing this, or is Facebook preaching to the converted? For more...

Last Thursday 'the world lost an irreplaceable intellect with the passing of longtime San Francisco scrivener Warren James Hinckle III' reports Kaani Powell Cleaver at 'The one-eyed journalistic impresario was more than a writer' says Kaani 'and he was more than an innovative editor. Hinckle was a force to be reckoned with whether stationed at a typewriter or holding court in his favorite city dive bars and watering holes.'

When Hinckle became editor of Ramparts magazine 'the magazine upgraded its look, converted to a monthly news magazine, and moved to San Francisco' ways Wikipedia and the circulation had a 'national readership to some 250,000. Under Hinckle’s stewardship, Ramparts became what the New York Times described as a “slick, muckraking magazine that was the most freewheeling thing on most American newsstands during the second half of the 1960s”.' For more, click here.
Hanley Wood has announced the launch of Hanley Wood’s BrandGen Audience Extension program – a service offering customers the ability to reach audiences outside of Hanley Wood’s portfolio of over 30 websites - the most comprehensive portfolio of websites in the construction industry.

Hanley Wood’s BrandGen Audience extension utilizes programmatic enabled technology providing an extension to the value and reach of Hanley Wood’s digital audiences on leading websites anywhere on the web. BrandGen is a one-stop digital offering combining the best in-network engagements with broad-based web extensions.

“We continue to focus on creating the best digital engagement opportunities for our customers,” said Peter Goldstone, CEO of Hanley Wood. “This new capability allows our customers to serve ads to their target audience within our Hanley Wood portfolio of sites and outside of our network.”

Advertisers now have the ability to secure scalable programs that target construction audiences while they are consuming relevant business information on Hanley Wood websites and when those same audiences are spending time on other websites. BrandGen offers the best of targeted B2B advertising coupled with programmatic technology and re-targeting capabilities. The combination of BrandGen and Intel - Hanley Wood’s native advertising solution - creates the branding force multiplier that marketers require to drive engagement breadth and depth.

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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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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 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....



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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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' 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?
(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!


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 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 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.