What has the Economist got to do with fish?

If you don’t explain what’s special about your product, how
can you expect to attract long-term readers? How can you expect
them to pay a reasonable rate for a subscription?

People pay for benefits and you should charge what your words are worth.

Economist promotions
The Economist is one of the very few publications that promotes through leaflets. It’s one of the best ways to attract new subscribers.

But the headlines for The Economist promotions fail our benchmark test.

How to test copy
Below I have reproduced headlines from an Economist leaflet.

If YOUR publication title, for example, is ‘Fish and Fishing’
you could use the same headlines for your Fish and Fishing promotion simply by putting ‘fish’ or ‘fishing’ in place of the word ‘Politics’.

Here are some examples (with changes). Can you spot which
words I have changed?

- A concise view of the week’s global fishing business and news

- Key articles analysing major fishing, economic, business and
environmental events around the world

- Covers internal fishing affairs, describes developments and gives
fishing analysis for the region

Where is the USP?
So, we ask ourselves, what is special about The Economist’s
political analysis? What makes it different from other magazines,
newspapers, the Internet, TV and radio?

Among all those descriptive words their promotions use
such as ‘informative, stimulating, essential, challenging, pungent,
specific, touched with a cool humour, calm, authoritative’ etc – there is nothing to describe the true character of the beast
underneath.

Why not dig for a real story?
But supposing you heard about a drunken dinner with top politicians
spilling the beans every week. Would you pay The Economist’s full
price, £94.40 a year, to find out what they talked about?

I would.

Peter Hobday
Subscriptions Strategy Ltd

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