Publisher Offers Strategies to Boost International Response

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NEW YORK -- While 2001 was a tough year for the publishing industry, "not to mail would be riskier than mailing," publisher Al Goodloe said at yesterday's 15th Annual Publisher's Multinational Direct Conference.

The conference, titled "Innovative Strategies for the Global Marketing of Publications in Troubled Times," began yesterday at The New York Helmsley Hotel.

The consequences of not mailing would have significant impact on publishers' house files down the road, he said.

With that in mind, Goodloe offered strategies for increased success in global markets.

He suggested that publishers step up mailings to selected international markets. As far as what regions are best, he pointed to Canada and parts of Europe as best bets.

However, Goodloe said certain European countries are harder to market to than others. Germany, France and Italy are tough because they have a lot of their own publications.

On the other hand, Goodloe said that Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal and Greece are good markets for international publishers.

Test and retest international postal options, Goodloe said. He stressed the importance of knowing what options exist and trying them out.

"Rethink how much you can afford to pay to acquire a customer," he said.

As acquisition costs continue to rise, Goodloe suggested testing smaller discounts off of subscription rates to help defray the cost of mailing.

Though he admitted that now might not be the best time to raise prices, he advocated the use of print premiums as opposed to big discounts.

The next strategy Goodloe gave was to increase efforts to hold onto subscribers and reactivate expires. He said that global telemarketing was a good way to do this especially since cross-border telecommunications rates have dropped in recent years.

Finally, Goodloe advised publishers to test more combinations of direct mail, e-mail and the Internet.

Looking ahead, Goodloe was optimistic about things improving for publishing in 2002.

"The good news is the economy is on the mend," he said.

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