Acing the Test
Throughout the magalog, Schneider goes to unusual lengths to showcase the diversity of content and reader appreciation that E – The Environmental Magazine generates. He began with the magalog cover, which features four distinct covers—visually as well as editorially—and a fiery red box in the middle with the words, “You’ve been selected to enjoy a FREE PREVIEW and get a FREE GIFT.”
The first interior page is a letter from the magazine’s executive editor, who hits on the big issue of the day—a person’s so-called “ecological footprint.” Rather than scold, however, the letter stresses the “empowering information” the publication provides; page two goes even further, beginning with, “Far from a doom-and-gloom magazine, E – The Environmental Magazine is all about awareness and practical advice.”
Unique elements include frequent callout boxes for the preview and premium that pop up throughout the magalog, as well as the low subscription price. “E had always stuck around the $20 mark, but we convinced the publisher that it might be worthwhile looking at a very low intro price,” asserts Wolfe.
Lastly, they also added a premium, “The E Guide to Green Cars,” that struck a strong chord with numerous recipients. The personalized reservation card gave two options, “Payment enclosed. Send my free gift right away” or “Bill me later. Send my free gift when I pay”—and many choose the former because of this premium. “The piece is a soft offer with a free issue, but we got a tremendous amount of cash up front, about 40 percent paid with order,” says Wolfe.
The coup de grace of the piece was the combination of reader and press testimonials, in addition to a long list of awards the magazine has garnered over the years.