Wenner Media’s Nicola Wodinger on Marketing Partnerships
It also depends on the size of your magazine. We reach an audience of 25 million-plus readers with our three titles, so if I execute a program that will deliver 1,000 subscriptions, it isn’t going to justify our time or resources; it often can take as much time as one that will generate 100,000 subscriptions. We also determine the optimal number of partners per title, ending with a diverse yet manageable number of partners. It’s balancing those variables, figuring out your ideal target numbers, and then finding the partners that can deliver in terms of volume and demographics.
TG: Once you find those right partners, what are the keys to making the partnership work?
NW: Don’t overcomplicate things. We aren’t reinventing the wheel here. An overcomplicated program not only encumbers you, it encumbers the partner as well. Find partners that buy into the partnership as much as you do—who are equally as invested and involved. Work with someone who brings as much value to the table as you do. To make these partnerships work, you want to develop a relationship that will last.
TG: What are some of the special considerations of partnerships and direct mail?
NW: The best thing for mailers to keep in mind is that working with the right partner can positively affect your response rates, and direct mail’s ability to test means that you can determine the optimal partner with limited expense. Say, for example, you are a garden products mailer, you can find a great gardening magazine that wants to work with you on your direct mail because you can put them in front of their target audience, and they can offer an incentive that will help lift response. We have seen that our participation as a magazine partner has given our partners lifts against their control series, across multiple different controls. That’s key for direct mailers—approach the idea of partnerships as a value-add and a lift mechanism.