Yankee Magazine Taps Direct Media to Manage List

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Yankee Magazine, that chronicler of the New England way of life, wants more from its list of 376,000-plus names.

The publisher switched list management to Direct Media, Greenwich, CT, as its exclusive list broker and thought it would be beneficial to consolidate brokerage and management.

"This appointment is unique in the sense that Yankee Publishing doesn't change list managers very often, as we had been with the previous vendor for over a decade or so," said Brook Holmberg, consumer marketing director at Yankee Publishing, Dublin, NH.

"Our goal is to increase list rental income and improve our direct mailing results by getting better test list recommendations from our broker," he said. "Hopefully, our manager will get good leads from our brokers, and vice versa."

Yankee Magazine covers New England subjects like travel, garden, food and home. It has 266,000 active subscribers plus 110,000 active gift recipients for a universe of 376,000. A subscription costs $24 for 10 issues annually.

"From a list management perspective, the challenge is to continuously come up with ways to keep the Yankee name in front of direct marketers," said Karen Mayhew, executive vice president of consumer management at Direct Media. "Everyone has their idea of who they think the Yankee subscriber is, and it can be a challenge to change or expand that mindset."

Direct Media will segment the file to appeal to mailers with specific demographic targets. It is adding several data cards for Yankee, she said, such as Yankee Travelers, Yankee Donors and Yankee Gift Recipients.

Yankee's mixed and dynamic audience was not as obvious to mailers previously, Mr. Holmberg said. Though consumer magazines and catalog mailers are among those who have rented Yankee's file, he said, national mailers should consider the list because half of the magazine's readers live outside of New England.

The typical age of subscribers is around 50, their average household income is about $75,000 and two-thirds are female. Eighty-three percent are homeowners, and 64 percent are married. Seventy-one percent have a college degree. Their interests include cooking, gardening, golf, reading, travel, photography, pets, home decorating and health.

Organizations soliciting products such as gardening or cooking books, gifts, home furnishings, business publications and travel services may find the Yankee file ideal to rent.

Direct Media plans a campaign of in-person visits, direct mail and e-mail to promote the file. The offer that Yankee has proposed is $95/M, with a minimum order of 7,500 names.

Yankee Magazine's effort to improve revenue from its subscriber list is not unique.

"Like all list owners, the challenge we face is maintaining and growing list rental income despite declining response rates, higher mailing costs and more competition from other advertising channels," Mr. Holmberg said.

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