AFAR Magazine Starts From Scratch
One of the best things a direct mailer can do to help craft the most effective direct mail campaign is give the copywriter a sample of the product so said copywriter can personally study it and understand its benefits. But what if you have no samples to offer?
That's the quandary AFAR Media faced this summer with the launch of its first ever issue of AFAR magazine. The San Francisco-based experiential travel magazine needed to disseminate a mailer prior to its August launch. As a new publication with exactly zero finished issues, that was no small task, especially with an in-home date goal of June 3. "Obviously, one of the biggest challenges with the launch is that we didn't have a magazine out yet," shares Laura Simkins, audience marketing and planning director of AFAR Media. "So we were really writing without an actual product-of course it was all in process and all that. It makes it a little more difficult for the copywriter to really understand what the voice is and to reflect that in the package."
To overcome this challenge, AFAR worked closely with copywriter Joe Quint—of New York-based direct marketing design and copy studio Quint & Quint—who joined forces with the magazine's editor-in-chief, Susan West, and art director. The result was a collaboration that truly resembled the intended look and feel of the magazine.
Mailed in a 6" x 9" outer envelope, the default control has the teaser, "Any similarity between AFAR and other travel magazines is purely coincidental." That teaser was positioned below a photograph of native peoples swimming with a beautiful mountain range background, and a cover of the publication alongside it. On the reverse side, another teaser appears, "Special Charter Offer: Get a Free Trial Issue," above the window showing the recipient's name and address (Archive code #202-717785-0907).