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

December 1st 2015

is the 335th day of the year and there are 30 days remaining until the end of the year.

Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate has freed 16 Lebanese
security personnel held captive for almost 16 months as
part of a swap deal.

The US says it wants to tighten travel restrictions on foreigners who visit the country without needing full visas, following the Paris attacks.

The German cabinet backs plans for military support in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and MPs are expected to vote this week.

A woman who sparked outrage on social media after posting a picture of her chocolate labrador with its muzzle taped shut has been charged with cruelty to animals.

Heathrow Airport should be barred from building a new runway until the airport can prove its ability to meet pollution and noise targets, a new report has said.

Prince Charles says forest protection is starting to be taken seriously at the UN climate conference in Paris, but too many companies are turning a blind eye.

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe's mental health has improved and he could be returned to jail. He has been housed at high-security Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire since 1984.

Faulty equipment was a "major factor" in the AirAsia plane crash last December that killed all 162 people on board, Indonesian officials say.

Aiming to head off a rift between major Mideast players, President Barack Obama urged Turkey and Russia on Tuesday to set aside tensions over the downing of a Russian warplane.

Russia announces sanctions against Turkey over shooting down of warplane.

Eerie photos spotlight Beijing and New Delhi's polluted air.
1081 – Louis VI of France (d. 1137)
1844 – Alexandra of Denmark (d. 1925)
1922 – Paul Picerni, American actor (d. 2011)
1923 – Morris, Belgian cartoonist (d. 2001)
1926 – Keith Michell, Australian actor
1933 – Lou Rawls, American singer-songwriter,
producer, and actor (d. 2006)
1934 – Billy Paul, American singer
1935 – Woody Allen, American actor, director, and screenwriter
1945 – Bette Midler, American singer-songwriter, actress and producer
1946 – Gilbert O'Sullivan, Irish singer-songwriter and pianist
1951 – Treat Williams, American actor and author
1954 – Judith Hackitt, English chemist and engineer
1955 – Mark Thompson, American radio host and actor
1955 – Karen Tumulty, American journalist
1974 – Costinha, Portuguese footballer and manager
1975 – Matt Fraction, American author
1982 – Christos Kalantzis, Greek footballer
1982 – Christos Melissis, Greek footballer

2007 – Anton Rodgers, English actor and director (b. 1933)
1975 – Anna Roosevelt Halsted, American journalist (b. 1906)

1530 – Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy (b. 1480)
800 – Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.

1420 – Henry V of England enters Paris.

1577 – Francis Walsingham is knighted.

1864 – Great Fire of Brisbane.

1913 – Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, is annexed by Greece.

1918 – Transylvania unites with the Kingdom of Romania, following the incorporation of Bessarabia (March 27) and Bukovina (November 28), thus concluding the Great Union. (Dracula becomes president... just kidding!)

1918 – The Kingdom of Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom.

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.

1963 – Nagaland becomes the 16th state of India.

1964 – Malawi, Malta and Zambia join the United Nations.

1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport, killing all 92 people on board.

1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, another Boeing 727, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80, crashes in Corsica, killing all 180 people on board.

1988 – Benazir Bhutto is appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA's purchase by American Airlines.

2013 – A derailment of a Metro-North Railroad train near Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx, New York City kills four and injures 61.
The events in Paris last Friday reminds me of events on London many years ago... And Another Thing!
Click here to read.

For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
It’s far from too early to think about gift subscriptions.  In fact, it’s too late for this year, so let’s plan next year’s gift promotions.
Click here to read.

For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

December 1st 2015
Today is December 1st, right, not April 1st. First it was cofee pooped from the anus of a fancy feline and now the crepes are about to hit the fan! 'The Economist’s continuing experiential marketing strategy saw the launch of a new campaign this week across London, entitled Future Forces' says What's New in Publishing and over the next few days 'Londoners will be offered delicious free crepes with a difference' - come on this is THE ECONOMIST, you knew there would be a difference, and the difference is the crepes will 'contain an insect filling.' Mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers will be served and if you want to read more, you have to click here, as we are heading to the nearest vomitorium!

By the way, 'The Economist is also getting into virtual reality' says Lucinda Southern at and for this story, click here.
That must be the question being asked at the New York Times's headquarters after an International New York Times article was replaced with... nothing. Says Oliver Holmes at The Guardian 'the International New York Times has blamed its local Thai printer for removing a front-page article on the country’s moribund economy and leaving a blank space on the cover.'

It is not the first time the printer has taken action, back in September says Mr. Holmes the 'printer stopped its publication over an article on the country’s ailing king.' Don't know about you, but if I was at the New York Times, I would now be in the Far East... looking for a new printer. For more, click here.
Nicole Vogel, president of SagaCity Media announced yesterday that Gulfshore Media LLC’s popular slate of Sarasota-based titles, including Sarasota Magazine, Biz (941), SEE Sarasota, Sarasota Health, and Venice Magazine had been purchased by SagaCity Media. Based in Portland Oregon Ms. Vogel says 'the Sarasota acquisition also represents an important moment for 12-year-old SagaCity, Vogel notes, namely the Portland-based company’s first venture into the East Coast market.' For more, click here.
'at Goldman, Sachs & Co. on Wednesday' says Alexandra Steigrad at The conversation will be private and says Ms. Steigrad 'is part of its “Talks at GS” series' and past speakers have included Madeleine Albright, Chuck Hagel and Deepak Chopra. For more, click here.

November 30th 2015
'Outport, an LGBT+ magazine based in Newfoundland and Labrador, has announced plans to expand its reach into the three Maritime Provinces' reports

The magazine is also adjusting its frequency from monthly to quarterly. For more, click here.

So just how many of those "expert" predictions do come true... we keep track.
Time to plant tongues firmly in cheeks!
did indeed
Who... What should happen... What did happen...
Tweet from Rupert Murdoch.

Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by big Wall St firm, LA Times to go to philanthropist Eli Broad and local group. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 27, 2015

Too early to tell.
Roy Beagley of and Erik Sass at People's Sexiest Man Alive is announced this week, Roy reckons it will be Daniel Craig, and Erik says Idris Elba.
Both wrong... it's David Beckham.
Matthew Patane,
Des Moines Register,
Both Meredith Corp. and Media General said they are sticking by a $2.4 billion deal that would combine their companies despite a report saying the deal is in danger.
As of 11/17 Media General picks its partner and chooses Nexstar over Meredith.
Medialife Magazine 10/5/15 TV shows most likely to be cancelled - The Player, Minority Report, Sleepy Hollow, Blood and Oil - possibly before November sweeps.
The Player, Blood and Oil and Minority Report have been reduced to ten episodes but Wicked City is the first official cancellation.
Roy Beagley after the first republican debate, based on Trump's performance. Donald Trump will not be the double-digit front runner by the start of winter.
As of 10/5/15 Trump's lead was 5.5% (Figs from
Roy Greenslade,
The Guardian,
Pearson is said, yet again, to be exploring a sale of the Financial Times. How many times down the years have I read that rumor? And how many times must I dismiss it as speculative nonsense?
Pearson sold a few days later.
Medialife Magazine 8/7/15 Candace Cameron-Bure is rumored to be joining The View.
Candace Cameron-Bure did indeed join The View.
And Another Thing - 3/26/15. Lester Holt needs to do more, why are NBC not using Lester Holt more?
Lester replaced Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News.
It is the oldest theatre newspaper says Jack Fenwick at and 'the world’s oldest theatre newspaper has relaunched its print edition.'

Some of the changes include a new masthead and 'editor Alistair Smith said: "over its 135-year history, The Stage has always moved with the times, evolving its design to reflect contemporary tastes".' For more of Jack's report, click here.
This time of year many publications and web sites start thinking about looking back at the year almost gone, and in some cases looking forward to what is to come. ( will do a news review from December 10th.) However some (Hello Emma Bazilian... we are talking about you) have started already and she looks at the magazines that made everyone take notice this year at For more, click here.

... but 'digital media less so' say Sara Guaglione at

Sara is referencing a 'recent report by payment processing company Worldpay' who 'looked at customer attitudes and trends concerning digital payments and subscription services.'

The report among other things notes 'subscription services in publishing was popular with 86% of respondents. Most preferred a onetime payment as opposed to monthly billing. However, subscriptions in digital media... were rejected by 40% of respondents, who said they were not getting value for money.' For more of Sara's excellent interesting report, click here.

How Hearst’s Troy Young Is Redefining the Role of a Magazine Executive.

Susannah Frankel Named Editor in Chief
of AnOther Magazine.

Murdoch’s British Tabloids Clean Up Their Acts.

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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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complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.

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....




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.