Time Inc.’s Kimberly Miller on Acquisition Tactics
The expression “the job is never done” is one Kimberly Miller, marketing director at Time Inc. for Real Simple and In Style magazines, can relate to very well. With far-ranging responsibilities—including retention marketing, acquisition, online audience development and consumer research—she is never one to rest on her laurels, or the controls; she continually changes up acquisition tactics and isn’t afraid to share the flops as well as the successes.
Meanwhile, Miller considers the mentoring of other up-and-comers a key part of her job, and she is termed a “faculty teacher” in Time Consumer Marketing’s internal training program. It’s also why the Direct Marketing Education Foundation recently named her a “Rising Star” in 2007.
EB: Since you became marketing director for Real Simple and In Style, how have your acquisition tactics changed?
KM: We have tried a bunch of different things actually. One very successful thing for us is what we call “The Welcome Package,” which is sent out as an early billing effort. They actually can’t pay on the package at all, which is pretty crazy. They’ve ordered, and we send out this package from the editor; it has a table of contents, what they can expect to see in the magazine and a free refrigerator magnet branded with Real Simple that tells you when to throw out certain produce and other things in your fridge. It’s a way to bring them into the brand in a positive way, as opposed to “Pay us now! And you probably haven’t even gotten your magazine yet.” This welcome package has been so successful that it’s been rolling for a year now. Our subscribers love it … and payment has gone up on [the] direct mail effort because of it.
EB: What are a couple of other new acquisition tactics?
KM: On Real Simple, we now have simple pricing. So that means that whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer looking to renew, every customer gets the same price. There’s not any price segmentation on the magazine right now—and that’s in-line with the brand: simple pricing, simple magazine, one low price for everyone. And we have seen great success with that, especially on the retention side. They like to feel like they’ve been with us for a while and they’re getting rewarded.