Beers Direct Readies Magazine Yellow Pages to 350,000 Consumers

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Select consumers nationwide will receive a compendium of magazine listings along with their Yellow Pages directories in June or August.


Called Magazine Yellow Pages, the book from Beers Direct USA Inc. is envisioned as a paid listing of consumer and business magazines available in the United States. About 350,000 consumers will get the 2004 issue.


"Newsstands have cut back so you're not on so many, and direct mail is so expensive now and it's prohibitive to these smaller titles, so what we need is a statement in the industry," said the book's publisher Cathy Miller Beers in Pekin, a suburb of Peoria, IL.


"The pork industry has 'The Other White Meat,' and in the milk industry you have the milk mustache," she said. "We want this to be the vehicle consumers think of when they think of magazines. We want to help brand magazines."


The 200-page Magazine Yellow Pages will drop along with Yellow Pages from Beers Direct's distribution partners: SBC in the Midwest, Dex Media in the West, BellSouth in the Southeast and Yellow Book nationwide. The geography includes metros, suburbs and select counties.


"Our goal is to hit in June because we know it's a good month for magazine promotions," Beers said. "If we don't hit it by then, we blow straight to the end of August since that's a good time to drop campaign mail for magazine subscriptions -- it's back-to-school time."


Polybagged, the 8 1/2-by-11-inch book will drop to names from targeted lists of readers of consumer and business titles.


"The Yellow Pages industry has the same type of unique profiling, regression analysis and predictive modeling that the direct marketing industry has," Beers said.


The book, which will go to consumers as well as businesses in those ZIP codes, will have the same paper stock as a typical Yellow Pages directory. The number of businesses to receive the book is still undecided.


Publishers pay $500 for a basic listing of a straight line of name, copy, description and cost of subscription. Paying $1,068 gets a 1-inch best cover image, plus name and description of the magazine, frequency and subscription price. Ads also are available in color.


To ensure direct response, the book will contain six to eight generic business reply cards for consumers to subscribe to titles of their choice year-round. Each page also will list Magazine Yellow Pages' toll-free and fax numbers along with the Web address at www.magazineyellowpages.com.


Beers Direct will get not only ad income, but also a cut of the subscription revenue generated from orders placed via Magazine Yellow Pages. The company also will handle the subscription process for orders placed on its response cards.


Once the book drops, Beers Direct will use mail and inserts to generate awareness for it. Consumers who wish to receive the book only have to pay a shipping and handling charge. They place the requests online at the book's site.


Monthly inserts will play a major role in marketing. An estimated 4 million inserts will drop in the second half of the year, with regular panel tests and a presence in Valpak packages. Alternative Response, New York, handles insert media marketing for Beers Direct.


Magazine Yellow Pages addresses the need to attract more subscribers for publishers in a market cluttered with more than 20,000 titles.


In her 28 years in direct marketing, Beers has witnessed the decreasing impact of partnerships, promotions, mail campaigns and the near-death of sweepstakes.


Prior to founding her company, Beers was senior vice president of Customer Development Corp., a Peoria DM agency bought recently by database management firm ChoicePoint, Atlanta.


Beers' book, akin to the Catalog of Catalogs, certainly aims to help circulators gain the attention of readers, relying on the trust consumers normally place in Yellow Pages.


"People who go to the Yellow Pages are 90 percent more likely to buy," Beers said, citing a recent study. "So we hope we deliver that kind of a response for all of our publishers."


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