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

April 28th 2017

is the 118th day of the year and there are 247 days remaining until the end of the year.



An "active [terror] plot" was foiled when armed officers raided a home in northwest London, police have said.

Fugitive director Roman Polanski's latest film has been announced as a last-minute entry to the Cannes Film Festival line-up.

The U.K. economy grew by 0.3% in the first three months of the year; the U.S. economy grew by 0.7% in the same period.

EU leaders are set to pave the way for automatic membership for Northern Ireland if it decides to reunify with Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

U.S. President Donald Trump said a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programes, while China said the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control.

U.S.-backed forces fighting Islamic State in Syria took several neighborhoods from the militant group in the town of Tabqa on Friday

Google and Facebook have confirmed that they fell victim to an alleged $100m scam.

Dame Judi Dench has declared herself a big fan of comedy sketches that show her using her fame to get away with shoplifting and other petty crime as played by Tracey Ullman.

Kenya's veteran politician Raila Odinga has been confirmed
as the main opposition coalition's presidential candidate for
August's election.

A Thai court has issued an arrest warrant for Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, in a move critics say is long overdue. Mr Vorayuth is accused of knocking down and killing a policeman while speeding in Bangkok in 2012.

Brazilian cities went into partial shutdown on Friday as the country observed its first general strike in more than two decades. Millions of workers, including public transport staff, bankers and teachers, have been urged to take part by trade unions and social groups.

Arkansas wrapped up an accelerated executions schedule with a lethal injection that left the condemned inmate lurching and convulsing before he died.

Protesters stormed into Macedonia's parliament on Thursday after an ethnic Albanian was elected as speaker.

France's far-right National Front (FN) has replaced its leader for the second time in three days after a row erupted about Holocaust denial.


1442 – Edward IV of England (d. 1483)
1630 – Charles Cotton, English poet and author (d. 1687)
1868 – Lucy Booth, English composer (d. 1953)
1868 – Hélène de Pourtalès, Swiss sailor (d. 1945)
1908 – Oskar Schindler, Czech-German businessman (d. 1974)
1924 – Dick Ayers, American author and illustrator (d. 2014)
1930 – Carolyn Jones, American actress (d. 1983)
1937 – Saddam Hussein, Iraqi general and politician,
5th President of Iraq (d. 2006)
1941 – Ann-Margret, Swedish-American actress, singer, and dancer
1941 – Lucien Aimar, French cyclist
1944 – Alice Waters, American chef and author
1949 – Paul Guilfoyle, American actor
1950 – Steve Rider, English journalist and sportscaster
1964 – L'Wren Scott, American model and fashion designer (d. 2014)

2014 – Ryan Tandy, Australian rugby player (b. 1981)
1999 – Alf Ramsey, English footballer and manager (b. 1920)
1970 – Ed Begley, American actor (b. 1901)
1936 – Fuad I of Egypt (b. 1868)
1192 – Conrad of Montferrat (b. 1140)
224 – Artabanus V of Parthia (b. 191)


1788 – Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift and the rebel crew returns to Tahiti briefly and then sets sail for Pitcairn Island.

1792 – France invades the Austrian Netherlands (present day Belgium and Luxembourg), beginning the French Revolutionary Wars.

1881 – Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico.

1910 – Frenchman Louis Paulhan wins the 1910 London to Manchester air race, the first long-distance aeroplane race in England.

1920 – Azerbaijan is added to the Soviet Union.

1944 – World War II: Nine German E-boats attacked US
and UK units during Exercise Tiger, the rehearsal for the Normandy landings, killing 946.

1945 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are
executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement.

1952 – Dwight D. Eisenhower resigns as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

1969 – Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France.

1978 – President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, is overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by pro-communist rebels.

1996 – Whitewater controversy: President Bill Clinton gives a 4½ hour videotaped testimony for the defense.

1996 – Port Arthur massacre, Tasmania: A gunman, Martin Bryant, opens fire at the Broad Arrow Cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 others.
The Myths of Circulation.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 118 of 365: National Day of Mourning (Canada); National Heroes Day (Barbados).

Day 117 of 365: Freedom Day (South Africa); National Day (Mayotte); National Veterans' Day (Finland).
Remember those ads from not so long ago? Well it may be that your days of being able to "yahoo" are numbered. 'Yahoo filed its final quarterly report this week. And just like that, the once-mighty tech firm is exiting public trading' reports Adrienne Lafrance at She says 'the company has been unraveling—slowly and spectacularly—for more than a decade now' and she suspects this is not going to be good news for digital news organizations. For more, click here.
Time celebrated its list of the 100 most influential people of the year and Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said: “It was a little different this year, because everything about this year is different.”


Robert Mugabe is still destroying Zimbabwe... the U.S. congress is still acting like spoiled children... service from Frontier Communications sucks... Survivor is still on television... European countries are at each others throats... traveling by air sucks big time... the U.K. is still ruled by a woman named Elizabeth... The Mousetrap is still running on the London stage... Fast and Furious films abound... women are still paid less than men for doing the same job and there is an unctuous fellow on Fox News network at 8.00pm Eastern.

Just saying.
Actually no, it was all quite amicable, we just thought the headline was funny... Runner's World... run screaming... no? Okay - carry on!

'David Willey, a senior vice president of Rodale Inc. and the editor-in-chief of Runner's World magazine, is stepping aside, chairwoman and chief executive officer Maria Rodale confirmed on Wednesday' says Andrew Wagaman at

Mr. Willey will stay at the company until June according a recent tweet from him. For more, click here.

Day 116 of 365: Hug A Friend Day.
... but the advertising and editorial departments never have been that good at liaising but when a 'tragic fire that killed five people - including four children - in the Queens Village neighborhood of New York City was on the front page of the Daily News' it might have been prudent not to run a 'a sticker ad for a testing service for people intending to take the New York City firefighter exam in September' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post.

This happens a lot more in the land of digital as Private Eye magazine points out in most issues, but certainly you would have thought an intervention could have taken place here. For more, click here.
James Heindenry is going to do THREE jobs notes Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post 'keeping the editor-in-chief responsibilities of Star and OK!' as well as being the 'the new editor-in-chief' of Us Weekly.

Over at Billboard Hannah Karp is the new news director and 'there’s a new creative agency in town' says Alexandra Steigrad at WWD 'called Statement Artists.' There are also a lot of changes at Bloomberg Businessweek and for those, click here. Lindsay Pollock the editor-in-chief of Art in America magazine is stepping down.
'Glamour honored the next generation of female leaders at its 60th annual College Women of the Year Awards on Tuesday' scribes Alexandra Steigrad at WWD. The "do" was held in Manhattan and as far as we know Martha Stewart did not do the catering although she was in attendance along with other such luminaries including 'former Cosmopolitan editor in chief Kate White [and] Katiti Kironde, the first African woman to appear on the cover of a women’s magazine.' For more, click here.
20,000,000 - A NICE NUMBER.
'When Lisa Tobin arrived at The New York Times nearly seven months ago, she had a broad mission: Figure out what the newspaper was supposed to sound like' says Benjamin Mullin at Figure it out she did although not in the way that she actually expected to. She may owe quite a debt to Donald Trump, not only him but also the gaggle of people she brought together to help her create something new for the New York Times. For more, click here.

Kate O’Beirne, National Review Editor and Columnist, Dies at 67.

Day 115 of 365: World Malaria Day, Red Hat Society Day, Anzac Day (Australia, New Zealand).
The Huffington Post, known to most of us as HuffPo has rebranded and is now knows as HuffPost. The editor says "we've got a new name, look and mission - to tell the stories of people who have been left out of the conversation." For the new HuffPo, click here.

'Like most media companies... Hearst is having to find new ways of doing business' says Chris Arians at Of course being Hearst they already have quite a few outlets including T.V., Cable and what is loosely termed "new media." For more of what is going on at Hearst, click here.

Rising Stars:
How Entertainment Weekly Keeps
Its Reporting Fresh.
Staff writer Nolan Feeney gives merit to working outside your comfort zone.

... is new from Melissa, a 'provider of global data quality and identity verification solutions' says It is based in the cloud, close to the third star from the left and it is an 'end-to-end mailing solution designed to prepare USPS-compliant direct mail with minimal effort.' For more, click here.

'Health and medicine online news site Stat is getting its own print product in Sunday’s Boston Globe' says Sara Guaglione at It will be a '12-page tabloid distributed for the first time this weekend' says a report at Nieman Lab. For more of Ms. Guaglione's report, click here.

Day 114 of 365: International Sculpture Day.
'Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News will no longer house The Guardian’s articles, with the publication pulling its content from the platforms' says Abigail Dawson at Mumbrella.

It was the publisher that made the decision saying "We have run extensive trials on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News to assess how they fit with our editorial and commercial objectives. Having evaluated these trials, we have decided to stop publishing in those formats on both platforms."

The Guardian was one of the first outlets to sign up for the service and it will be interesting to see if anyone else follows The Guardian in what we think is a rather smart move. For more, click here.
Danger ahead for European press.
Out of necessity "publishers" were forced to become a jack of all trades when the market went haywire a few years, but that also meant in many cases they also became a master of none. However Kelly Holland the chief executive and majority shareholder of Penthouse Global Media wants to revive the legendary brand. For more click here for David Ng's report at the L.A. Times.
'Sarah Harrelson, co-founder of Miami-based Whitehaus Media Group and editorial director of art and design magazine Cultured, is launching a new quarterly arts and culture magazine for Los Angeles called “LALA”' scribes Sara Guaglione at Media Post. First issue is scheduled to be this May and "LALA" will not cover the weird world of the tellytubbies but 'art, design, entertainment, fashion, lifestyle and travel.' For more, click here.

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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.