3 Direct Mail Strategies to Grow Your Print Publication Circulation

3 Direct Mail Strategies to Grow Your Print Publication Circulation

From the economy to the growth of new technologies, it’s been a rough road for publishers over the last few years. With The Badger Group’s roots in print, we understand the challenges.

The good news: Most newspaper readership continues to be in print. However, circulation dropped in 2014 for both weekday and Sunday newspapers as well as for news magazines.

Circulation is still the critical number for print publications. If your publication is struggling to attract new subscribers – or lure back former subscribers – you might want to test a direct mail campaign.

Here are three direct mail strategies to help grow your print publication circulation:

Simple, Straightforward Letter

Direct mail marketing makes a lot of sense for newspaper and magazine publishers. It remains one of the most important sources of subscriptions for publishers. However, rising postal and paper prices mean you must be smarter about your direct mail targeting.

To be more effective with your direct mail marketing budget, use your data effectively. To target non-subscribers, buy your mail list and make sure to pull current subscribers from it before mailing. And don’t forget former subscribers. With the right offer, you might be able to win back some of these “warm” prospects.

Badger has been working with a local newspaper group on a series of direct mail campaigns aimed at increasing subscriptions of some of their publications. The direct mail packages have been extremely simple. They have included a letter or flyer with an attached reply device and a courtesy reply envelope in a #10 envelope. The straightforward message, simple design, and compelling offer has been extremely effective.

Every Door Direct Mail

Want to cast as wide a net as possible in a targeted geographic area? Try an Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) campaign. With EDDM, your offer can be delivered to every home and business in the geographic area you select, no mailing list needed.

As long as your mail piece meets EDDM size specifications, you can use the program. Postcards are a popular choice, but letters and brochures can work, too. Why not test sending a tri-fold brochure with a perforated panel that can be used as a reply device? The piece could be used to solicit subscribers, or you could use it for sample requests (ex. “Try Us FREE for Four Weeks!”) to build warmer prospects for your next targeted mailing.

Digital / Direct Mail Integration

We live in a multi-channel world. So while direct mail remains an effective way of building circulation, you can’t ignore digital channels.

Provide an online option to your direct mail campaigns. Drive recipients to a landing page where they can complete the subscription form. Build your email list by adding an email address space on your form (and include a checkbox for permission to send emails). Begin cultivating stronger subscriber relationships by sending a series of automated messages to new subscribers.

Don’t forget social media! Before your direct mail campaign hits mailboxes, tell your social media audience to keep an eye out for your special mail offer. Then once your mailing is in homes, publish a few social media reminders encouraging folks to redeem the offer. A smart social media strategy aims to move social media followers to your “owned” contact lists (i.e. mail or email list).

Direct mail works to increase print subscriptions. And when you work with a direct mail expert like The Badger Group, your subscription campaigns will be more effective. Contact us today to get started!


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