In the Who’s Mailing What! Archive, the publishing sector can be broken into three main groupings: magazines, newsletters and newspapers. While these three groups may have a lot in common from a business perspective, a comparison of their mailing habits over the course of the third quarter of 2006 reveals that’s where the similarities end.
Overall, magazine efforts accounted for the largest percentage of publishing volume—65 percent. Newsletters were second at 29 percent, and newspapers were third at just 6 percent. Newspaper mailers led the way, however, when it came to the use of envelopes—100 percent of their Q306 efforts—and personalization—which appeared in 55.6 percent of their efforts. In contrast, 87.6 percent of magazine efforts and 74.4 percent of newsletter mailings arrived in an envelope, and 17.5 percent of magazine mailings and just 2.3 percent of newsletter packages were personalized. Of those aforementioned envelopes, it’s no surprise that the majority were #10. This size was the most popular among all three categories: 37.6 percent in magazines, 46.9 percent in newsletters and 100 percent in newspapers.
Newspapers also were more likely than other publishers to use freemiums; 22.2 percent of newspaper efforts included up-front freebies, compared to 9.3 percent of newsletter and 8.2 percent of magazine mailings. When it came to back-end premiums, however, neither magazines nor newspapers held a candle to newsletters. Some 81.4 percent of newsletter efforts included premium offers, mainly in the form of reports, though one mailer—21st Century Investor—did offer a gas card. Only one newspaper, Financial Times, offered a premium (also reports), while 17.5 percent of magazine mailers did. Most of these premiums—40 percent—came in the form of books; 36 percent were either clothes, such as T-shirts and caps, or tote bags.
One final aspect worth comparing is the various categories’ use of hard versus soft offers. For magazine mailers, soft offers were by far the most dominant, accounting for 87.1 percent of Q306 efforts. For newsletter mailers, hard offers got the majority vote at 73.2 percent. In contrast to both, newspaper mailers virtually were split down the middle, with 55.6 percent soft offers and 44.4 percent hard offers.