Publishers: New Blow-in Rules Will Reduce Costs

Publishers see a U.S. Postal Service ruling last month allowing them to include blow-ins from other publishers in their magazines as a low-cost way to attract subscribers.

This is the second change in blow-in rules. Last fall the USPS allowed magazines to include blow-in cards for other publications published by the same company or a subsidiary. Earlier this year a USPS periodicals advisory group that included the Magazine Publishers Association and other trade groups asked the postal service to relax the rules further to permit blow-in cards from other companies.

"We thought this would be a natural outgrowth of the first rule relaxation," said Rita Cohen, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory policy for the MPA, Washington. "We also knew this would give magazine publishers a good subscription source, while at the same time encourage more magazines to use the mail."

Experts said that publications likely would exchange blow-in card space rather than sell it. One publication, for example, could run another's cards at a higher frequency in order to make a proportional trade based on differing circulation numbers.

Readers are unlikely to see subscription offers for competing magazines appear in publications, but publishers said there are many opportunities to target non-competing magazines with similar readerships. A women's magazine, for example, could put cards in a home furnishings magazine.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorization. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of Haymarket Media's Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions