Ogden Publications' Cherilyn Olmsted on Cutting Marketing Costs but Not ROMI
Sometimes [the publication price for individual titles in the combo offers is] the same [as the price on the single-title order page], and sometimes it isn't. It depends on the title. Some of them we can't discount as heavily as others. For example, for Gas Engine magazine we have a pretty high cost of delivery, so we want to make sure we recover all of our costs at acquisition. And so we try not to discount that one too much. But we can discount, say, a Grit subscription a little bit more.
TM: What direct mail formats have you been testing to trim expenses?
CO: With probably three or four of our titles, we use a 6" x 10-1/2" with a pretty large envelope with a die-cut window for the free issue sticker and then the address window. So, it's a pretty expensive package. And because it's a larger size, it does get noticed in the mail but it's also very expensive. We tested the 6" x 10-1/2" against a plain old #10 envelope package. For some of the magazines, it didn't work. For Motorcycle Classics, it did work. So it just depends on the audience and probably the components we have in the package.
For most of the 6" x 10-1/2" packages, we have the four-color brochure, a letter or lift note, Business Reply envelope, and the order card. If we reduce the size and we don't impact P&L and the response, then we go ahead [with the smaller format].
We also have a smaller package for Gas Engine magazine; it's a little #7-3/4 [package], smaller than a #10. And that seems to work for that audience. It's a pretty niche title; if you see Gas Engine magazine on the outer envelope and you're not interested in gas engines, you're probably not going to open it [regardless of format size].