Blueprint Subscriber Effort Beats the Plan

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Since lifestyle publisher Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. launched Blueprint on May 1, response to a subscription marketing push has exceeded expectations.

A recent e-mail campaign for the new women's lifestyle magazine has generated the highest number of subscription orders ever received at Martha Stewart, the New York company claimed.

"Our specific mission with Blueprint is to provide modern, multi-tasking women with plenty of ideas and the inspiration to outline, design and refine their own personal style in every corner of their lives," said Tom Prince, development editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

The e-mail effort was deployed March 30 and offered six issues for $18. The company declined to disclose the open, click-through and conversion rates.

Blueprint targets women ages 24-45. It had a debut rate base of 250,000, with 200,000 credited to newsstand sales and 50,000 to subscriptions.

Rich Fontaine, circulation director of Blueprint, said the title's paid circulation numbers were sourced from direct mail, insert cards, Internet and e-mail promotions as well as targeted promotions to the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia database.

"Direct mail is an integral part of our circulation strategy," Mr. Fontaine said. "In April 2006, we tested a 300,000 (-piece) direct mail campaign with two entirely new packages, including price tests and premium tests."

The magazine's cover price is $3.50. It will be published twice this year with the next issue on newsstands Aug. 28. In 2007 it goes bimonthly.

Blueprint's focus is showing readers through self-expression how to custom-craft their everyday lives. It provides how-to-do and how-to-buy advice through various sources.

"Many magazines focus on style as it relates to home, fashion and beauty," Mr. Prince said. "Instead of covering what's on the runway or how celebrities are decorating their homes, we concentrate on helping readers be distinctive."

A companion Web site launched April 24 via www.marthastewart.com and will expand with the print publication.

The debut issue of Blueprint included 48 pages of advertising from companies such as Liz Claiborne, Nestle, Crate & Barrel and Anheuser-Busch. It also brought new advertisers like Calvin Klein, Kate Spade and Howard Johnson to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The open gross rate of a full-color ad was $20,000.

"Blueprint has a unique voice that aims to provide young women with a reliable source that will help them define their own personal style," Mr. Prince said. "We believe that Blueprint fills a void in the marketplace and will be embraced by advertisers and readers alike."

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