Rounded prices lift results: TV Guide circulation chief

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WHITE PLAINS, NY - No one needs magazines to survive - magazines have to be sold.

To that point, the consumer publishing session at the 33rd Direct Media Client Conference and Co-op at the Westchester Renaissance Hotel shared critical circulation ideas with the audience of direct marketers.

"If you have an incredible offer, let people know," said Susan Allyn, vice president and circulation marketing director for TV Guide magazine, New York. "Rounded prices lift results."

She said it is important to test dramatically, buy lifting and lower prices on all sources.

Two-for-one offers work well with certain consumers, especially as renewal gifts.

"Segment and target rates," Ms. Allyn told list services firm Direct Media's clients and prospects. "For example, try student rates, senior rates and professional rates."

Caroline Zimmermann, president of The Zimmermann Agency, Brookville, NY, said "Pay now" incentives work really well.

"Something like 'Pay now and get 6 free issues' is catching to the eye," she said.

Giving a prospect six free issues is actually cheaper than re-targeting a prospect and re-mailing them, said Dean Lage, group marketing director at Belvoir Media Group, Norwalk, NY.

A low price with expiration also works well, according to Ms. Zimmermann. Her fellow panelist agreed.

"Don't be shy about dropping the price," Mr. Lage said. "Also go back in history and retest old formats because what is old can become new again."

Segmentation can work, too. Segmenting by age, gender and income is most common.

Always re-mail multi-buyers, Ms. Allyn said.

"If you can't re-mail multi-buyers within 30 days, re-mail them as part of your next campaign," Mr. Lage said.

Use offer-focused chits to dramatize the deal. Ms. Allyn suggested making guarantees noticeable.

"Fancy vouchers can also work," Ms. Zimmermann said. "However, letters are not necessarily better when it comes to vouchers."

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