Investment Publication Boosts Subscriptions 83,000

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Online Investor, a bi-monthly magazine launched last year to serve investors that use the Internet for research and trading, has grown its subscription base to 83,000 in 10 months using direct marketing in media specific to investing.

The publication is the first advertiser to place an insert in trade confirmation statements sent by online brokerage E*Trade, Palo Alto, CA. Online Investor, Chicago, rode along in 250,000 statements in February, according to marketing director Peter Walsh. E*Trade is the only top five online brokerage to use the trade confirmation space for advertising.

Written confirmation of all trades, regardless of their origination, is required by law. Online brokerages alone handle an average of 450,000 trades per day according to CS First Boston analyst Bill Burnham, creating a potential direct mail medium with huge reach. E*Trade executes roughly 50,000 trades per day and the medium has gotten a great response from advertisers that like the online/direct mail combination, said spokeswoman Jennifer Wisneski.

Online Investor targets prospects on the Internet by placing offers in daily e-mail messages sent by four financial Web sites with opt-in registered e-mail lists. Each program will generate 200-250,000 impressions and Walsh is projecting a response rate of 1 percent to 4 percent. The four-line offer consists of three lines of text and a link to an offer page at its site A new version of the site will be launched May 1 with new features designed to increase traffic.

Online Investor generates 3,000 to 4,000 new subscriptions per month through a more common medium of personal finance magazines, ubiquitous blow-in or bind-in business reply cards placed in 60,000 newsstand copies of the publication.

Brisk newsstand sales has allowed Online Investor to hold off making a huge investment in direct mail, Walsh said. Mail will assume a more prominent role in the future.

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