Moving Away From Members-Only
There’s a fine line between trade and general interest publications. With current issues trending toward environmentally sustainable living and design, it’s no surprise that a trade magazine dedicated to community planning could gain readership outside of the planning industry.
But it takes more than just relevant content to go beyond a publication’s niche market. In its latest acquisition effort, Planning magazine uses targeted lists and creative to expand its readership beyond the planning industry and American Planning Association (APA) members. “Most people who get Planning magazine are members. I’d say the overall circulation of Planning magazine is about 45,000. Outside subscribers are a small part of that, but it’s a part that we want to grow,” says Ken East, director of marketing in the APA’s Chicago office.
First dropped in April, the magazine sent two versions of its 6˝ x 9˝ acquisition self-mailer to both APA membership prospects and prospects on outside lists. The only variation between the two is a panel on the mailer sent to industry insiders, with a description of membership benefits.
On the outer is a photograph of a young boy smiling in a playground. “This is an image of a child that’s having fun in a safe but stimulating public space. It’s not in his own backyard,” East says. He adds that the photo illustrates the messaging of the piece, which is all about connecting people who want to create communities of lasting value. On the back fold is the copy, “Find Out,” which relates to the teaser, “What’s In It for You?” on the front of the mailing (Archive code #205-716800-0809).
The mailing folds out into one long horizontal panel. To the left is a sample layout of an actual article, with benefits highlighted in individual callouts. The version sent to professionals features a more technical article on a water infiltration plant, while the general market version features a more broadly appealing article on