New York Times Takes on Youth Endeavor
The New York Times has launched a news and lifestyle magazine designed just for teens. The New York Times Upfront is a magazine covering topics such as the media, sports and technology as they relate to the teen community. But since parents are often the source by which teens pay for things, the challenge for the magazine is in the marketing. How does one target teenagers and parents with one mailing?
For starters, the mailing that we received was addressed to the whole family, rather than just one person (593UPFRON1000). Also, at the top of the letter there is a note that reads: "Note to parents: If this mailing was addressed to you, please read it and pass it on to your teenager. To order a free issue of The New York Times Upfront, send in the enclosed reply card..."
The letter is printed on slick, coated stock with graphics that make it look less like a personal letter and more like a magazine page. The letter is written to both the parent and the teenager: "Think about it: if The New York Times Upfront helps you ace just one research paper, write a better essay, get a great idea for a class assignment, or simply feel more confident in class, isn't it worth the small subscription price?"
A brochure printed on the same coated stock with lots of photos and
illustrations also is included. Pictures of teenagers holding the magazine adorn the letter, brochure and outer envelope. The headline on the outer envelope reads, "Make this the year you know it all," and there is a "free issue" sticker showing through a circular window.
The offer is for a free trial issue of The New York Times Upfront. The magazine is published biweekly during the school year, from September to May.
Alyson Schenck, associate circulation director for the magazine, says it is still too early to tell whether the mailings should target teens or parents. "Our challenge is to figure out where we're going to get a better response," says Schenck. The package the Archive received is a test package that dropped in September, and this particular one is geared more toward teens, she says. However, the control did 40 percent better than this mailing. The company has only mailed two campaigns so far.
Schenck says the magazine wants to do two separate mailings in the future: one targeted to teens and one to parents. Right now, the median readership age is 14- and 15-year-olds, and the 6-14 age segment is doing well in response. Schenck says the magazine will try to target more 13-year-olds next time. "It's the kind of magazine where you want to get them younger, so they keep reading," she says