An Offer that Goes Long
It's not unusual to see newslettersespecially those that deal with financial and investment topicsput their longer-term offer first in the list of subscription term options. They make the case for taking a longer term with a great price and a ton of extras, like special reports and advisory services. But we don't see this strategy used much by magazine publishers, regardless of their content focus.
The standard for most magazine offers is a one-year subscription, with a special two-year deal being the exception.
Technical Analysis Stocks & Commodities breaks that mold with a #10 envelope mailing that offers a five-year subscription for $162.38promoted as half-priceas the top deal (205TEANSC1001). The other options are a three-year subscription for $114.95 or a one-year subscription for $49.95. The five-year deal includes a premium upon payment of either one of a series of investments books published by parent company, Technical Analysis, or a gift subscription for a friend.
The only glitch with the offer set-up is that the prospect is presented with the option of choosing the book premium from a series of 17 volumes, but there is no list of what each volume covers.
In analyzing the three similar versions of this package that the Archive has received since December 1999, we've noticed Stocks & Commodities keeps the main elements very similar, but has added more sales support for its product. The very first mailing contained a two-page letter, lift note, BRE and an order card. With its March 2000 drop, Stocks & Commodities included a single sheet that details the departments and regular features published in each issue.
Then, in October 2001, the magazine stepped up its product positioning with a four-page reprint of an article on how to use pivot points to analyze stock investments. The reprint is promoted on the outer envelope as a freebie, and the fact that it's not dated means Stocks & Commodities can print it in large quantity for lower production costs.
It certainly does seem that a marketer would need more information to convince prospects to sign up for five full years of a publicationregardless of the strong guarantee that allows subscribers to cancel their subscriptions at any time for a refund on all unmailed issues.
The investment publishing sector tends to blow the doors off when it comes to selling their periodicals with editorial content. Another interesting twist on the multi-layered offer is a tweak on the lift note. The basic goal of a lift note is to appeal to emotion.
Instead of selling the features of the magazine, the unsigned letter positions Stocks & Commodities readers as experienced tradersa subtle move that propels prospects to want to be a part of this successful group. A recent addition to this content is a 10-percent discount promotion to prospects who place their order at the magazine's Web site.
This is the only place in the package where the Web order option is mentionedwhich may be a way to test an extra incentive to the undecided, to whom the lift note is geared.