Custom Magazine Sells the Good Life

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Real estate developer Lyle Anderson Company Inc. is relying on a glossy, customized magazine to attract customers to Las Campanas, a private residential and recreational community on 5,000 acres in Santa Fe, NM.

Called Haven, the publication by Pohly & Partners, Boston, targets dual audiences. Three thousand copies went to the 1,500 Las Campanas and other Lyle Anderson property members for encouraging word-of-mouth referrals. Another 22,000 copies went to wealthy prospects who already may own three or four homes.

"When you think about a luxury real estate community, it's really a story: It's about lives and people who purchased their home here, how they were able to become members there and how they live their lives in those communities," said Diana Pohly, president of her self-named company.

Dropped last month, Haven is a 76-page book replete with ideas and articles on a relaxed Santa Fe lifestyle. Features include an article on a couple who collect Native American art and a slice-of-life look at seven families living at Las Campanas.

Content also highlights the two Jack Nicklaus golf courses and a well-equipped equestrian center. There is also information for prospects about the property's history. A set of three business response mailers is attached at the back of the book.

"This whole raft of stories really lends itself to the in-depth, emotional types of stories you can tell in custom publishing," Pohly said.

Existing members were delivered copies. Prospects were reached via mail or through outlets where the demographic matched the typical Las Campanas property owner.

Scottsdale, AZ-based Lyle Anderson has created residential communities like Desert Mountain and Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Arizona, and Hokuli'a on Hawaii's Kona coast. It also developed the Loch Golf Club in Scotland. Vacant lots at Las Campanas start at $250,000.

For Las Campanas, the company rented lists with people boasting more than $5 million in investible assets, multiple homes and who are involved in golf or equestrian sports.

Copies mailed to prospects in Dallas, Connecticut, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix. Other copies were placed in select luxury hotels, golf courses, equestrian outlets and private clubs.

Haven debuts as an annual publication, though it may go biannual, Pohly said. But it is essential to keep Las Campanas fresh in the minds of potential customers. Sections of the same target audience for the magazine will receive print newsletters three times a year with Haven's look and feel. Each drop is estimated at 10,000 copies.

Though custom publishing is widely accepted in other economies like Britain's, it is not as big in the United States.

Pohly, whose firm is one of the top five independent custom publishers locally, estimates the U.S. market's size at $2 billion. The company produces custom magazines, newsletters and online content for companies like Western Union, General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler Corp. and Continental Airlines.

Lyle Anderson, named after its majority shareholder, looked at other forms of marketing outreach. None matched a custom publication as a prospecting or customer relationship management tool.

"Lyle felt strongly that in order to sell the properties to the right types of prospects, he needed to tell a story about the quality of lifestyle that you had, and other forms of communication were not enabling him to do that," Pohly said.


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