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

Jul 28th 2016

is the 210th day of the year and there are 156 days remaining until the end of the year.


Pope Francis fell over.

Plans for a £344m expansion of London's City Airport have been given clearance by the Government.

Europeans are on edge after six violent attacks in France and Germany over the past two weeks.

Lloyds has accelerated its job-cutting scheme, axing a further 3,000 roles, even as it reported a 101% increase in pre-tax profits.

Florida officials are investigating four cases of Zika that do not appear to be related to travel, raising fears mosquitoes in the US are spreading the virus.

A lion has been seen in the suburbs of Nairobi.

Donald Trump asks Russia to find Hillary Clinton's 30,000 missing email.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her policies on refugees in the wake of recent terror attacks. Some of the attacks were by asylum seekers who she said had "shamed the country that welcomed them".

Charges against the last three police officers accused over the death of detainee Freddie Gray have been dropped.

John Hinckley Jr, the man who tried to assassinate former US president Ronald Reagan is set to be freed from a psychiatric hospital and allowed to live in the community.

An appeal has been lodged after jurors rejected a claim that Led Zeppelin plagiarized the opening section of Stairway to Heaven.

1347 – Margaret of Durazzo (d. 1412)
1815 – Stefan Dunjov, Bulgarian colonel (d. 1889)
1909 – Malcolm Lowry, English novelist and poet (d. 1957)
1924 – C. T. Vivian, American minister, author, and activist
1927 – John Ashbery, American poet
1930 – Ramsey Muir Withers, Canadian general (d. 2014)
1936 – Garfield Sobers, Barbadian cricketer
1946 – Linda Kelsey, American actress
1947 – Sally Struthers, American actress
1949 – Peter Doyle, Australian singer and
guitarist (The New Seekers) (d. 2001)
1965 – Priscilla Chan, Hong Kong singer
1972 – Robert Chapman, English cricketer
1993 – Moses Odubajo, English footballer
1993 – Cher Lloyd, English singer-songwriter

2015 – Clive Rice, South African cricketer and coach (b. 1949)
1998 – Zbigniew Herbert, Polish poet and author (b. 1924)
1969 – Frank Loesser, American composer (b. 1910)
1808 – Selim III, Ottoman sultan (b. 1761)

1540 – Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason. Henry marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is certified, establishing African American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.

1896 – The city of Miami, Florida is incorporated.

1935 – First flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

1957 – Heavy rain and a mudslide in Isahaya, western Kyushu, Japan, kills 992.

1993 – Andorra joins the United Nations.

2001 – Australian Ian Thorpe becomes the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.

2010 – Airblue Flight 202 crashes into the Margalla Hills north of Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 152 people aboard. It is the deadliest aviation accident in Pakistan history and the first involving an Airbus A321.

Republican Convention or Pokémon - HELP!
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For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.
The Good Old Days.
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For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here.

Day 210 of 365: World Nature Conservation Day (International)

Straight Talk

The Good Old Days by Elaine Tyson

Unless my memory has totally failed me, magazine publishing used to be a lot more fun than it is now.  In the good old days, we actually used to see others in the business face-to-face on a very regular basis at industry events and meetings.  That was helpful because we got to know each other and learned quickly who knew what as well as the other companies we might want to work for someday.  That’s more difficult to do today.

When I first got into this business, most publishing companies were family owned.  There were not nearly as many huge corporate entities.  Your competitors were also your friends and you could call them for help and never be refused.  Now, no one wants to talk on the phone and you can forget face-to-face meetings…email or nothing.  Do I have to tell you how many people don’t read or answer email?
A great deal of business was conducted by handshake and turning your back wasn’t an invitation to be stabbed.

I had fun at every publishing company I worked for.  The first was an absolute riot and my introduction to the industry.  These are only a few of the stories of my employment there.

One day I strolled into the art department to talk about a special ad we needed and while we were looking at layouts, a rather large snake suddenly uncoiled itself from the light fixture over the drawing board and stared me directly in the face.  Yes, the art director brought his pet to work.  It took three guys two hours to find me.

At lunch near my office, I was sitting alone at the counter, minding my own business, when a company exec who’d had too much to drink managed to walk straight through the glass front of the restaurant and head off down Lexington Avenue without missing a beat.  I sat there stunned until I started to laugh and thought I might have to be sedated before I could get myself under control.  Who could I tell?  No one!

There are so many stories, I could write a book.  The best one involved a Christmas party held at a NYC hotel.  Everyone attended for a great buffet and hot and cold running alcohol.  About 3 hours into the party my boss, the VP-Circulation, opened a window and climbed up to sit on the windowsill, legs dangling outside.  (That’s why hotels no longer have windows that open.)  He appeared to be quite drunk and a crowd gathered to talk him off the ledge as it were.  He raved about how hard his job was…how he hadn't had a raise or a vacation in years…and that life just wasn’t worth living at the moment.

Everyone clustered around the open window and the company owners looked suitably horrified.  We tried and failed to lure him back inside.  Finally, the company President said “OK.  We can work out a raise for you and we’ll be sure you get that vacation”.  So my boss said…”That’s great but Elaine hasn’t had a raise in years either.”  I was offered and accepted a raise on the spot.  Only then could we coax him back inside.

At that point, I was asked if I would escort him home and, of course, I said I would.  I managed to get him into his coat and onto the elevator.  When we got to the street I took his arm and said, “Come on, let’s head to the subway.”  He stopped staggering immediately, stood up straight and said, “Hey, we both just got a raise, let’s take a cab.”

His name is Andrew Douglas and he confirmed yesterday he has been charged 'with breaching a publication ban connected with the murder of police officer Catherine Campbell' reports 'A preliminary inquiry into the homicide of Catherine Campbell began on July 11' reports Keith Doucette at Canada's 'and police say the magazine published a story online the same day that included information that was subject to the ban.' Frank Magazine is a satire and gossip publication based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

... 'a Chinese court has sentenced an American citizen to more than five years in prison for selling magazines about Chinese politics' reports Michael Forsythe at the New York Times. The gentleman concerned is James J. Wang who was based in Hong Kong who also goes by the Chinese name of Wang Jianmin. 'He and a colleague, Guo Zhongxiao, who was also sentenced to prison on Tuesday, published and edited two magazines in Hong Kong — Multiple Face and New-Way Monthly — that featured loosely sourced articles about Chinese political leaders, including President Xi Jinping' reports Mr. Forsythe and for more on this, click here.

The rumors proved to be true as Time's Joe Ripp has confirmed the title of publisher is to be eliminated from the company. In fairness Time has changed so much over the last few years, who hasn't, to keep up with the almost daily changes in this industry the title of "publisher" is pretty much redundant. Some publishers 'were reassigned as broad-based “brand” leaders with multiple titles now under their umbrellas' says Keith J. Kelly at the New York Post, and even though this more accurately reflects the job function being performed, it certainly lacks the cache of being a "publisher." For more, click here.

'Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have landed their second magazine cover together' says - no, we don't care either.

'The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Tuesday released the findings of a new report which reveals that two-thirds of U.S. consumers using ad blockers could be convinced to uninstall their ad blocking software on their computers' reports Tobi Elkin at

The study reports on a response of nearly 1,500 users so a relatively small sample but the report found that people could be persuaded to 'turn off blockers on their computers' by 'ensuring that ads do not have auto-play audio or video in environments where they aren’t anticipated by consumers' and 'making certain that ads do not block content.' There are other reasons as well, but all the reasons seem to suggest that if you treat your customer as if they are a valued customer, they will respond - who knew! For more, click here.
'St. Joseph Media has announced two new appointments to its organization' reports and the appointments affect Noreen Flanagan and Steven Kawalit. This is good news for St. Joseph but Elle Canada may be slightly miffed as both of these fine people were previously at Elle Canada. For more, click here.

Day 208 of 365: Day of National Significance (Barbados)
According to the 'media maven' Tina Brown is to host a party for 'for ousted chancellor of the Exchequer and fellow “Remain” supporter George Osborne at her Manhattan home this week.'

According to the report the ousted chancellor is 'coming to New York to try to drum up trade with the US in the wake of his country’s shock exit from the European bloc.' OK, a couple of things here... firstly... who knew Tina Brown was even still around? Secondly, has anybody told the new chancellor that the ousted chancellor is banging the drum? And thirdly we don't know who is more pathetic, George Osborne for attending or Tina Brown for hosting.

Nothing against Lady Evans but if she is a media maven (def: expert or connoisseur) we would be hearing about this in Talk, or Newsweek two well-known projects Ms. Brown has been associated with.
'Puzzler Media has turned to Quadrant Subscription Services to answer the challenge of managing subscriptions across its portfolio of 50 titles' reports Quadrant is part of the Air Business Group and their solution 'set to go live this autumn, will integrate with Puzzler Media's existing e-commerce platform' with payments 'processed in real-time' says the report. For more, click here.
'Quebec-based Safarir magazine announced Monday that it will cease its operations' reports It was initially published monthly in Quebec City from October 1987 but moved to Montreal in 2001.

'The team for the humor magazine said Monday on Facebook that the “grand adventure” had ended, citing the bankruptcy of their distributor last year and large printing costs, coupled with a sharp decline in advertising revenues. For more, click here.

How a Refinery29 Vet Is Reshaping Domino Into a Major Digital Player

Hey if in planes, why not trains? 'Amtrak, looking to cast itself as a more upscale travel brand, is about to launch its first national magazine' says Claire Atkinson at the New York Post. The new magazine is called The National and says 'will celebrate America and the experience of travel.' Jordan Heller is the editor-in-chief and says 'The National will be based out of Ink’s New York office, with Anna Szpunar as publisher.'
It does seem as though the Untied States Postal Service has had more than its fair share of problems of late, and some of us have been wondering why. The good folks at Dead Tree Edition have supplied that answer and they say 'if you want to understand why the U.S. Postal Service seems so dysfunctional, look no further than its governing board.' The board consists of eleven positions but says the report 'now it's down to three members -- the Postmaster General, the Deputy Postmaster General, and a former Congressman -- and eight vacancies.'

So why eight vacancies you may ask... happily, Dead Tree Edition will answer that question. For more, click here.
Fortune Launches
‘Fortune Unfiltered’ Podcast
Voices of the Midwest for the Midwest: New Missouri-based magazine focuses on the 'fly-over' states.

Day 207 of 365:
This of course pre-supposes that some celebrity magazines are worth reading, but the New York Post looks at some like Rachael Ray Every Day, Martha Stewart Living, the Wizard of Oz, The good Life and more. For more, click here.
Marissa Ann Mayer, computer scientist and current president and CEO of Yahoo is probably happy today despite the rumors that she will finally quit Yahoo. 'People have been talking about Mayer getting canned for years' says Chris O' Shea at but according to Ms. Mayer she plans to stay put. “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo... it’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter” she said in a note to staffers, but there may $57,000,000 reasons she might think the "next chapter" has arrived. For more, click here.

'Some magazine publishers are earning more money from selling access to their archives than they are from digital sales via Apple’s iTunes store' reports Dominic Ponsford at Press Gazette. Now we suspect this is somewhat magazine specific, but says Mr. Ponsford 'digital magazine specialist Exact Editions... launched digital archives for Opera magazine... and Geographical' as well as other titles and the results are pretty impressive. 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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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....



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.