Archive Observations: Survey Says, Back to School & Grand Controls
Winning back lapsed subscribers to one's publication can mean trying a variety of rates, likely starting with the very best one, or even mailing a redressed acquisition offer, perhaps reminding the customer of why they subscribed in the first place.
Three renewals received in August added another tactic: a reader survey. The Nation (Archive code #710-171640-0908) tipped its hand with "Yes" and "No" checkboxes on the front of the 4-1/4" x 7-1/2" envelope, and the teaser: "It's time to cast your vote." The letter writer (a circulation manager) fears that each subscriber loss is a "resounding vote of NO." On the reverse side of the letter, the expired subscriber is quizzed about his likes and dislikes about the magazine, as well as news source preferences and TV viewing habits. To "help us improve our product and service," The Philadelphia Inquirer (Archive code #710-172585-0908) mailed a 5" x 8-1/2" triple postcard with a brief (six-question) survey about the newspaper, and more specifically, service issues: delivery, customer service and billing.
There are only a few questions asked of former subscribers to Don Dion's ETF Report (Archive code #710-707478-0908); instead, there's half a page for the reader to talk about "what information they would like to see," as well as share any other comments. Smartly, all three mailings include a bill-me offer to renew their subscriptions.
Welcome Back? ... to School!
Depending on who you talked to, it was the best of times, or the worst of times. For retailers in August, the back-to-school season was a chance to boost sales in the sharpest recession in 25 years. The most common tools to bring shoppers in were coupons and savings cards. To "rule the school," Dick's Sporting Goods (Archive code #910-688348-0908) mailed a 6" x 11" postcard that included two coupons, one for up to $20 off a purchase, the other for earning bonus points on a ScoreCard Rewards account with a purchase.