Ellen de Lathouder

The goal of a publisher unveiling a new magazine or newsletter through direct mail is simple: Get as many people as possible to pay attention to the publication and, soon, pay money for it. Sure, a publication needs consistent advertisers and media attention, but only a growing base of readers that plan to subscribe and renew will make it go from viable to vital. “You need to get the new magazine into as many prospective subscribers’ hands as possible,” says copywriter Elaine Tyson, owner of Tyson Associates in Brookfield, Conn. Tyson helped launched such magazines as Elle Decor (in the United States), George,

Because voucher packages have been under increased scrutiny (both legally and in the seemingly endless back-and-forth debate among mailers as to whether or not they work), Ellen de Lathouder, vice president of creative services for Meredith Corporation, publisher of More magazine among other titles, offers up this suggestion for subscription acquisition efforts: Focus solely on what you’re selling, not on format. As is evidenced by More magazine’s glossy, full-color mailings—each heaped with sneak peeks at its content—de Lathouder follows the line of thinking that maximizing the benefits of the product ensures it can and will speak for itself. “I, personally, would rather sell the

By Tracy A. Gill In a mailbox full of voucher formats, More magazine's colorful 9" x 9" acquisitions package, with its focus on both editorial content and offer, always stands out. In July, this package separated itself from the crowd even more by giving a new face to that publishing stalwart, the lift note (203MOREMA0704X). For three years, More's very successful control package (see "Speaking Your Prospects' Emotional Language," November 2000) featured the same lift note: an 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" folded, uncoated letter from the More staff. But when More magazine featured Jamie Lee Curtis au naturel—in a sports bra and spandex

By Hallie Mummert When you hear a fellow direct marketer talk about the usefulness of focus groups, do you dismiss the concept as fine for general advertising, but a waste of money for direct marketers? Do you feel you get all the information you need from the results of your direct mail tests? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might be missing out on the powerful insight that focus groups can lend your creative strategies—and lagging behind on what your customers and prospects really think of your product. But you don't have to take my word for it.

About three years ago, Ladies' Home Journal and its parent company, Meredith Publishing Corp., announced the debut of a new magazine created specifically for women ages 40 and above, called More. The launch package was a #9 envelope mailing with a bright red outer and lots of photos of middle-aged women, both celebrities and models. In October 1998, Inside Direct Mail reported on More's success in upgrading the charter effort to a 9" x 12" envelope format (203MOREMA0798); a second 9" x 12" envelope mailing had been running neck-and-neck with the upgraded control for several months. Recently, More has soundly beaten both

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