Insert leaflets are the most common method of attracting subscriptions today. You see them in almost every magazine in the newsagent.
But most loose insert cards donâ€™t list the benefits a reader would get from reading the magazine itâ€™s inserted in. This omission is common among magazine publishers, because they feel that as the reader has the magazine in his hands why tell him what’s in it?
This is a common trap.
It’s vital to spell out the benefits a reader will get from subscribing, rather than making a one-off magazine purchase. Otherwise, how will the reader know what the title will do for him over the coming years?
A loose insert card will sell the features of a subscription (but not the main benefits). Here are some typical features:
- Is the magazine cheaper than newsstand prices?
- Is there a free booklet, report or other free gift?
- Are copies delivered to your door at no extra charge?
- Will the subscriber never miss an issue?
- Has the price has been massaged down to ‘just 42 pence a week’?
- Can the subscriber pay later?
Those are the features. Here are the benefits that need explaining:
- What will your publication DO for the reader? Make a list.
- Why does he or she need a full year’s subscription? Why won’t a single issue be enough?
- Why can’t the reader get the same information free? From the internet, for example? Why pay for it?
- What benefit will the reader miss out on if he / she doesn’t subscribe? How will it affect his life?
- What benefit will the reader receive if he / she subscribes now, rather than later?
How to lift response to your subscription offer
Here are some factors that affect response to your loose insert card or leaflet:
Often, the subscriber does not get his free gift until he pays. This condition keeps costs down, but applying conditions will reduce response and overall profitability.
In most cases, responders will get the bill with their first issue once it is published some weeks down the line. But to get the best pay-up percentages, the reader should be billed by return.
And he is more likely to pay if the free gift is enclosed with a letter welcoming him aboard and telling him at what date the first issue will be published and despatched.
A ‘Here is your gift’ message increases goodwill, and comes at a time when the order is still fresh in the reader’s mind.
The three measures of this kind of promotion are:
- High response
- High percentage of payers (so few bad debts)
- Speedy payment — 60 day average or better
It’s no good thinking the second two considerations are for the accounts department to worry about. If a promotion has too many bad debts and payment is slow, then word will get upstairs and your creativity will receive a very hard knock!
Why you should not use direct debits in your subscription promotion
Don’t rely on direct debit payments to renew your subscribers. These are currently expiring after the first year at a high rate. And offering a direct debit slows down the whole order process, reducing initial response.
Catch them quick
Newstrade readers are fast and easy with their purchases. If you want to convert them into subscribers you must catch them quickly, or they’ll wander off in search of other attractions.
This is the most important rule of in-magazine promotions such as loose inserts and it’s the one most often disregarded. That’s why most publishers find response and pay-up percentages less than it could be.
The ‘bill me’ approach will always bring in the highest response, because it’s the most effortless.
Marketing with small cards
Even though loose insert cards are small, itâ€™s still possible to sell the benefits. Even though there are almost no examples of effective insert cards to be seen in the UK at the moment, we are always happy to point you in the right direction.
The Subscriptions Strategy newsletter looks at loose inserts and how to adapt some great examples to use on your own titles. The special ‘Loose Inserts’ issue costs Â£33 and you can use the link below to order a copy.
Grab a big discount on The Subscriptions Strategy newsletter! A year’s supply of the UK’s top inside source of subscriptions marketing information:
Subscriptions Strategy Ltd