The Economist Reaches for a New Audience With Direct Mail
Dealing with changes in publishing has been a tall order for some companies, but direct mail still plays a vital role in subscription acquisition.
Mailer Name: The Economist
Date Mailed: August 2015
For years, The Economist has been one of the world's most respected magazines, and a big user of direct mail. Unlike its voucher-type offers, this mail piece heavily promotes the brand to an academic target market by using a cover of a recent issue as the non-address side of the outer. Additional covers show up in the brochure, 25 on its first page alone.
Inside the brochure, it refers to its audience of “one million leaders” across many fields and industries. It invites the college professor (the initial target): “We believe you might like to join them.” It’s consistent with the tagline from the outer: “Great minds like a think.” But academics aren't the only targets who need to be sold.
The letter and the brochure center on the benefits to students who can subscribe thanks to a special individual rate or a group subscription provided by their teacher. “Expand your students’ horizons with our world view,” one headline reads, and runs down more about the publication’s coverage of various subjects and trends.
Despite what may seem like an emphasis on print, the focus is actually on the content provided by The Economist and how it makes students think better, regardless of the platform. However, as today's students are more likely to be digital-first, one page of the brochure centers just on those features of the overall subscription.
For long-standing brands to adapt to a digital age, it’s necessary to appeal to audiences in a variety of channels.