Spreading the news

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Ken Sheldon
Ken Sheldon
“A good amount of my consumer marketing efforts are focused in the New York area, especially direct mail,” Sheldon explains. “One benefit of sub­scription agents is that they are very national, which lets us find subscribers in Texas or Oklahoma that would be cost-prohibitive to mail ourselves.”

Reaching national readers online

By working with national partners such as Mediabistro, The Vault and Amazon.com, New York has been able to reach far-flung online readers.

Amazon shoppers, for example, may now receive e-mail blasts pro­moting New York subscriptions, if the site records New York as their home address or sees that they've bought other New York-related merchandise. Sheldon reports that, since actively partnering with Amazon, subscriptions through that site have quadrupled.

New York is actively growing sub­scriptions and brand recognition on its own site as well, Sheldon says. “The biggest change we're concerned with right now is the growth of the Web,” he explains. “Even in the past few years it has been tremendous, and the audience there is technically bigger in terms of readers and visitors and is growing at a tremendous rate — and it's only going to get bigger.”

Visitors to NYMag.com can sign up for print subscriptions and newslet­ters, and are encouraged to leave com­ments. These interactions allow New York to send more e-mail marketing messages to more targeted consum­ers. Sheldon points out that prospects pulled from the site have already sought out the magazine's content on their own, so they are more likely to respond well to offers.

As New York plans for its 41st year, the Web will continue to hold a prime position in its marketing mix, but its marketing team will continue to test venues including cross-marketing strat­egies with parent New York Media's recent acquisition, MenuPages.com.

“The biggest changes in 2009 are all going to be Web-related,” Shel­don agrees. “Consumer marketers are definitely moving well beyond selling print — many are responsible for selling audience, which includes traffic and newsletters.”

That means Sheldon will be work­ing a lot more on selling audience for all New York properties, specifically with conversion of traffic on NYMag.com, he adds. The magazine wants to find out “what we can do to get their e-mails, get them to sign up for newsletters, get them to become print subscribers, and get them to be dream consumers who get the print and go online every day and get the newslet­ters,” he says.

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