Publishers Say: Show Us the Money
Show me the money, and you'll get this free gift. This is the message a number of magazine publishers sent forth in December's mail.
For example, U.S. News & World Report sent out an offer for its "Preferred Professional Rate" of 30 issues for $12 (201USNEWR1203); subscribers who pay upfront get a free auto-flip calculator clock, with world time for 16 cities and a perpetual calendar through 2099. The premium got its own four-color buckslip and was listed in the statement of benefits.
Bon Appétit cooked up an incentive for paying customers with its free "Bon Appétit's Tastes of the World" cookbook (202BONAPP1203). The cookbook is served up in a more subtle manner than U.S. News & World Report's calculator clock, with a mention only on the order form and "receipt." One item of note about Bon Appétit's offer is that, like U.S. News, it features a "professional courtesy rate" (of $12), but it also charges prospects (in pretty small print) an additional $3 for postage and handling.
A free messenger bag is the lure the circulation folks at Fairchild Publications are hoping will reel in upfront payments from Jane prospects (203JANEMA1203); for its Details prospects, the pay-now bait is a free handheld PDA (204DETAIL1203).
Outside magazine's "New Free Gift" teased on the outer envelope (202OUTSID1203X) cuts right to the chase: Prospects who pay get a free "Outside pocket knife."
The Newsletter on Newsletters didn't want to cut any potential subscribers out of the premium loop, but it did want the money upfront. The solution: A bonus report, Newsletter Success Boulevard: 27 Publishers Reveal Their Profit-Making Secrets, is free with paid subscriptions, but copy notes that bill-me subscribers will get the bonus report free when they're paid-up.
Gruner and Jahr USA Publishing's Fast Company offered a "Fast Company Shoulder Bag" to customers who hand over the green (205FASCOM1203), but the marketers behind this New York-based magazine didn't want to risk losing those pay-laters, so a consolation gift was offered: a free executive pen with the first issue.
But The Rosengarten Report really takes the cake with its multi-tier premium approach (250ROSREP1203) that doesn't push upfront payment, but instead piles on the premiums with a two-year subscription. This food, wine and travel publication by The Food Network's David Rosengarten, offers a free copy of the report "David's Five-Star Finds" with a "no-risk subscription" for one year, which it highlights on its response form as "a Great Deal"; its "Best Deal," a two-year subscription for $79, promises the same free booklet, plus 10 other reports. The icing on the cake: A "quick reply bonus" entitles those who sign on within 15 days to a free copy of the guide "David's Amazingly Easy Rules for Matching Food & Wine."