Acquisition Helps Woodworking Double Circulation (787 words)
The new magazine, which follows the editorial approach of the old Rockler Today's Woodworker but retains the better-known Woodworker's Journal name, would fulfill any copies remaining on Primedia subscriptions on a one-to-one basis. To achieve this, the magazine needed to combine the two incompatible databases, a tricky problem echoing the findings of the State of the Industry survey, in which 39.8 percent of respondents cited data management as a top internal challenge for their companies.
Prior to acquiring Primedia's woodworking list, the magazine staff handled the data itself using Quick Fill. Although the fulfillment software works well for small magazines, when Today's Woodworker's circulation grew beyond 100,000, it pushed the bounds of the program. The acquisition of Woodworker's Journal kicked the total circulation over 200,000, necessitating outsourced data management and fulfillment.
The new magazine bid out the job to database companies, including Neodata (now Centrobe), which had handled Woodworker's Journal data for Primedia. Today Centrobe handles the Woodworker's Journal database, and circulation, fulfillment and renewal efforts have progressed smoothly.
New Marketing Methods
Like 24.2 percent of the State of the Industry respondents, Woodworker's Journal relies on direct mail to sell subscriptions. To combat the list fatigue that occurs when specialty magazines re-mail to the same lists, the magazine is running a test with American Family Publishers and using the relaunch to introduce itself to new subscribers.
To do this, Woodworker's Journal is testing two existing controls in order to find a new winner. The old Today's Woodworker double postcard has a soft offer and a book premium, and, says Stoiaken, it's "a little shorter on the front end and stronger on the back end," than the Primedia piece. The old Primedia piece offers a sweepstakes entry, and as you'd expect, the front end response is better. Overall, Stoiaken says, "They're neck and neck."