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


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.

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.

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.

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....

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....

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....

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,

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....

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....

Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!

Sending out a direct mail campaign requires a good lettershop operation... Karen Tyson explains....

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.

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!

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!

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....

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....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.... will not be updated on July 3rd or July 6th; back on the 7th.
July 2nd 2015
Flag Day (Curaçao)
Independence Day (Bahia)
Police Day (Azerbaijan)
World UFO Day

is the 183rd day of the year and there are 182 days remaining until the end of the year.
This day is the midpoint of 2015 because there are 182 days gone and 182 to come. The exact time of the middle of the year is at noon. In countries that use summer time the actual exact time of the midpoint in a common year is at 1:00 p.m, or 11:00 a.m for countries in the southern hemisphere; this is when 182 days and 12 hours have elapsed and there are 182 days and 12 hours remaining.

Irish singer and TV entertainer Val Doonican has
died, he was aged 88.

Britain's Prime Minister has indicated the Government is paving the way for air strikes on Islamic State terrorists in Syria in the wake of the Tunisian beach massacre.

Eurozone chiefs rule out any further bailout talks with Greece until after the country's referendum on Sunday.

Up to 5,000 people have been evacuated after a train carrying flammable and poisonous materials derailed and caught fire in Tennessee.

An "active gunman" was reported to have
fired shots at the Navy Yard in Washington DC but the reports seem to be a hoax.

A woman's ankles were broken when a dolphin jumped into her family's boat in southern California.
1489 – Thomas Cranmer, archbishop (d. 1556);
1903 – Olav V of Norway (d. 1991);
1908 – Thurgood Marshall, jurist (d. 1993);
1914 – Erich Topp, admiral (d. 2005);
1922 – Pierre Cardin, fashion designer;
1927 – Brock Peters, actor, singer, and producer (d. 2005);
1928 – Line Renaud, actress and singer;
1937 – Polly Holliday, actress;
1937 – Richard Petty, race car driver;
1943 – Ivi Eenmaa, politician;
1943 – Walter Godefroot, cyclist;
1964 – Jose Canseco, baseball player.

1964 – Ozzie Canseco, baseball player.

2013 – Fawzia Fuad of Egypt (b. 1921);
2010 – Beryl Bainbridge, author (b. 1932);

2008 – Elizabeth Spriggs, actress (b. 1929).
1504 – Bogdan III the One-Eyed becomes Voivode of Moldavia.

1644 – English Civil War: Battle of Marston Moor.

1777 – Vermont becomes the first American territory to abolish slavery.

1839 – Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinqué take over the slave ship Amistad.

1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

2013 – The International Astronomical Union names Pluto's fourth and fifth moons, Kerberos and Styx.
Let's celebrate Independence Day on the correct date!
Click here to read. Click here for audio version.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
When you’ve worked with magazines long enough you realize that the economics of circulation are complex because there are many ways a magazine can reach its market. Find your best ways to deliver. Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

July 2nd 2015
When a report includes the line "Dumb-assed Hall of Shame" you just know it is going to be good. And the dumb-ass in question is the Royal Mail, you know, the one run by the Queen when she is not busy opening things and enquiring if people have "come far!"

Anyway, George Simpson at scribes 'through Royal Mail’s partnership with an undisclosed "well-known U.K. retailer,” homeowners who click on a product on the retailer's Web site and add it to their shopping basket will be sent “targeted” junk snail mail selling them similar stuff or urging them to reconsider if they didn't hit the buy button.' George does not like this, and for good reason, click here for more.

Newsweek is adding its European edition of Newsweek magazine to the digital magazine newsstand, Magzter where it will join Newsweek (US) and Newsweek Polska are already available on Magzter.
Shareen Pathak, Brands editor at has written an excellent article uncovering the confessions of agency executives - and it is a hoot! One of the confessions: '“My thing is when account people send through creative accompanied by a
detailed email outlining all the changes that still need to happen,” said one top digital exec. “Then, the client won’t read the email, see the creative and send back feedback that basically lists all the things that we already said we knew had to happen.”

For more, and someone, please make Shareen Queen for a Day, click here.

'Charles S. Sosland, chairman and CEO of Sosland Publishing Co., on June 30 announced changes to the company’s executive leadership team' reports Josh Sosland at

Mark Sabo is now president emeritus of Sosland Publishing and L. Joshua Sosland is the new president of the company but Charles Sosland remains chairman and CEO. For more, click the president emeritus or president below.
Farrah Storr, has been appointed as the new editor of Cosmopolitan having been the editor of Women's Health AND - yes there is an "AND" Louise Court will leave her position as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan to become director of editorial strategy and content.
'Usurping trade secrets' is just one charge a 'pair of former Standard Register employees are' facing says Erik Cagle at and 'the suit, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, [also] accuses former Standard Register sales employees Craig Stockmal and Lynn Smith of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets, among other charges.' For more, click here.
'A website and magazine dedicated to "positive" journalism has raised nearly £170,000 in crowdfunding' says Rory Tingle at and 'Positive News claims that if it hits a £200,000 target on the website by 8 July it will become the world’s first crowdfunded global news media cooperative.' So what do people get for their money - 'shares and... each shareholder a say in how the publication is run.' For more about the publication, click here.

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July 1st 2015
Helen Lambourne says 'journalists at a series of Johnston Press titles in Scotland have been offered pay increases of up to 5%, according to the National Union of Journalists.' For more, click here.
So far this year, 23 magazines have closed and 60 have started, making a net gain of 37 - not great, but better than a net loss.

Author of a story at Folio, Michael Rondon says 'the bad news is that launches are falling at an even faster rate' which while worrying is not exactly surprising. For more of Michael's report, click here. 'Lucky' was one of the un-lucky closures in the first half of 2015 as was 'Nylon Guys' and some magazines closed, only to reappear as something else a short time later, and for that part of the story, check out Matthew Flamm at
Keith J. Kelly has a wonderful way with words. At the New York post he writes 'when Marta Tellado arrived... to become president of Consumer Reports she said she wanted to hear from consumers and employees. She probably wishes now that some of the employees would pipe down.'

Protestors protested last week over layoffs and says Mr. Kelly 'the union rolled out the big inflatable rat outside the magazine’s Yonkers, NY, headquarters.' For more, click here.

Last week at Cable Neuhaus wrote that it was time for a major rethink at Time.

You will not be surprised to learn that Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.'s chief content officer did not agree with Mr. Neuhaus's assertions, in fact to quote Mr. Neuhaus, Mr. Pearlstine "took exception" and wrote to Folio to make a few points of his own. For those points, and Mr. Neuhaus's thoughts on Mr. Pearlstine's points (does this sound like a bad soap opera?), click here.

June 30th 2015

A Samsung phone to be precise and it is all because the 'Harper’s Bazaar’s Editor-in-Chief Justine Picardie', wrote an article that, says 'explores the rise of technology in the fashion front row.'

"Samsung has a long history of collaborating with the fashion industry" says Chong-Won Lim, Head of Product Marketing - Mobile, Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland "and an unparalleled understanding of how technology and fashion can enhance and inspire one another."With trends such as selfies ingrained in our popular culture we are excited about creating products that can inspire people to express themselves." For more, click here.

'Journalist Peter Oborne is set to return to the Daily Mail with a new political column' reports John McCarthy at Mr. Oborne one of Britain's most respected journalists left the Telegraph earlier this year because he claimed 'the newspaper [was] refusing to properly cover HSBC’s tax avoidance for commercial reasons' - i.e.: advertising.

Mr. 'Oborne was the chief political columnist at the Mail until 2010' and went to join... the Telegraph. For more, click here.
A Plano mom has started her own parenting magazine called Good Life Family and notes Kevin Cummings at 'has already begun to receive a solid fan base, with nearly 7,000 subscribers to its bimonthly print edition and about 4,000 electronic subscribers.'

Sheryl Pidgeon said planning and developing her concept started nearly two years ago and notes “I had so much experience ... and then I had a family, and I’ve blended those things together.”

Good for her, and for more of Kevin's report, click here.
Videos that is and claims Nicholas Minter Green of Economist Films “if The Economist was created today then video would be a key to extending its principles to readers.'

They are going to produce 'mini-documentaries sponsored by brands' and they already have a couple of pilots in the can, or whatever the digital equivalent of "a can" is.

For more, click here Mr. De Mille!

Based in the English coastal town of Worthing, Sussex Life magazine celebrates 50 years of publishing. It was founded by 'the Kent Messenger publishing group, which was keen to capitalize on the success of its Kent Life title' says Rushabh Haria at Says the report 'the title claims to have a monthly circulation of 15,000 and annually hosts the Sussex Life Awards for the best "food, drink, and hospitality" businesses across the region.' For more, click here.


'If you’re a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, as we are' says Wayne Williams at, then there is good news. 'The Raspberry Pi Foundation is going to start printing copies of a bigger and better version of the mag and distributing it in the US and UK, starting from 30 July' says Mr. Williams and 'the 100 page magazine will include the usual mix of builds and guides, as well as features and reviews.' For more, click here.

Katy Perry
Covers Forbes


'When publishers think about ad blocking, they fixate on how the tech hurts their ad revenue' says Ricardo Bilton at; he is not wrong, but he also notes 'fewer are thinking about how it could hurt their ability to collect data about readers' which he says is a major issue.

There is no reason to disagree with what Mr. Bilton says, but what about the rights of the consumer not to be bombarded with ads if they don't want them? There is an argument, a similar one was used many years ago in Europe that says since these people are blocking ads, how valuable would the collected data have actually been? For more of Mr. Bilton's view, click here.
'Gannett has completed its spin-off, creating two publicly traded companies' reports Alexandra Steigrad at

Gannett publishes many newspapers and magazines including USA Today and says Alexandra 'The new Gannett will include a portfolio of 92 domestic media markets... ed by chief executive officer Robert Dickey.' For more of her insight, click here.
'Two weeks ago, Meredith Corp. announced the relaunch of the Better Homes and Gardens' website' reports Ellen Harvey at and she notes the 'redesign points to a few leading trends in the media world, including the growing importance of serving up content for mobile devices and the vital role social media plays in driving traffic to media brands.'

For more of Ms. Harvey's report, click here.
'With advertisers continuing to shift their print budgets to digital media, Pablo Del Campo, the worldwide creative director at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, thinks maybe adland is a little too enamored. "We are seduced by digital media and it's not necessarily because it's more effective," he told The Australian newspaper during an interview at the Cannes Lions festival this week.' For more of this report, click here.

June 29th 2015
Plymouth Lane Capital Management are the "others" referred to above, and they hold an 11% stake in MSLO, a sizable chunk, and says James Covert and Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post they are 'banging the table for a higher buyout price.'

Whether or not the poncho-making mama could get more than the $353,000,000 offered by Sequential Brands is not clear, but obviously the good folks at Plymouth Lane Capital Management seem to think so. For more of James and Keith's report, click here.

'Ripp sat at a small round table that looked like it was borrowed from an elementary school teacher’s classroom' says the report at (perhaps it had been ear-marked to follow the staff to India?) Anyway, Joe "the Rippster" Ripp spoke to WWD's Alexandra Steigrad and the conversation covered a wide variety of subjects, digital, native and newsstand among them. Sadly not mentioned is whether any more jobs are Asia bound, the only question staff at Time Inc., would probably have wanted Alexandra to ask. For more, and the conversation, click here.

Question: 'If the world of magazines and magazine media has changed at all in the last seven to eight years, and we all know that it has, then why does the industry insist on continuing to create magazines as though we’re still living in the year 2007?' It is a fair question and of course Samir Husni tries to address it... well, there wouldn't be much of an article if he didn't would there!

We are now in a digital world muses Mr. Husni but he notes 'we as an industry must learn print’s place in today’s digital world' and to that end he has 'outlined nine roles print media can play in today’s magazine environment.' For those, and more of his musings, click here.
Stefano Tonchi is the editor of W magazine and was previously editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine and has also worked at Esquire and L'Uomo Vogue. In this article he open ups to


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.