Ogden Publications' Cherilyn Olmsted on Cutting Marketing Costs but Not ROMI
Companies in all industry verticals have tightened their marketing belts to ride out a rough economy, but few as aggressively as publishers. With the need to push performance to new heights, Ogden Publications—which puts out Mother Earth News, Utne Reader and Grit among other magazines and books on self-sufficiency, sustainability, rural lifestyles and farm memorabilia—has been testing and refining its direct marketing strategies to not only make its budget stretch a little farther but also to better serve customers.
This week, Target Marketing Tipline talks to Ogden's director of circulation and marketing, Cherilyn Olmsted, to learn some of the tests it's been trying and what affect their performance is having on the company's future marketing plans.
Target Marketing: Which direct response media drive the most orders for Ogden Publications?
Cherilyn Olmsted: I would say probably direct mail [is first] ... probably e-mail promotions and just online orders in general are probably our next-to-largest source. Five or 10 years ago, insert cards would have been much higher than e-mail and online, but that's increased to where we have a much larger percentage of our orders online. And then obviously renewals ...
TM: What is helping to increase your online orders?
CO: We do a lot of cross-promoting. So if someone gets a promotion for Grit magazine and they go online and subscribe ... then on their confirmation page we typically have offers for at least a couple of other titles that might relate to that magazine. Motorcycle Classics is a little bit more difficult; we can't cross-promote that as easily because we don't have another motorcycle magazine or anything that's somewhat close audience-wise.
And we're just getting into doing some combo offers where on the same order page for Mother Earth News, [prospects] can just check a box and say "I'd like to order Grit magazine for another $5" or whatever ... we haven't determined what the rates on those are going to be yet, but just trying to get that combo offer in place on our Web site.