Confidence in the small to midsize business environment persuaded Entrepreneur magazine to raise its circulation this spring by 4.5 percent to 575,000, with a rise to 600,000 set for June 2006.
The magazine also introduced less-cluttered covers, updated its editorial look and signed 24 new advertisers for this year. Outreach to advertisers and media planners emphasizes the changes at the business monthly.
“I'm trying to allay the misconception that Entrepreneur only reaches people who want a business or own a franchise,” said Carrie Fitzmaurice, New York-based vice president and publisher of Entrepreneur, “because the majority of Entrepreneur readers are independent business owners looking to grow their business.”
On the circulation side, the magazine is rolling out more targeted direct mail programs and marketing promotions, online and offline. Subscriptions are 93 percent of the magazine's sales. The rest are via newsstands, where a copy sells for $4.99.
However, the increased rate base may require more attention on newsstand sales.
“We're doing more direct mail than we have in previous years and concentrating increased newsstand promotion dollars where we are most efficient: bookstores and airports,” said Mark Tavarozzi, Entrepreneur's vice president of circulation.
The magazine also uses its site at www.entrepreneur.com to recruit subscribers.
“Our most efficient source is our own site, which is getting more difficult to promote on as we continue to attract outside advertisers,” he said. “We've had great success in retention rates by offering substantial discounts on three-year terms.”
All efforts focus on getting the most desirable customers for Entrepreneur, and not ones at the lowest cost to it. The company relies on typical offers like 12 issues for $11.97, but rarely will the discount go deeper.
Boosts in subscriptions are rare and occur during different conditions, Tavarozzi said. Newsstand sales, for example, pick up in the fourth quarter and last through the first quarter of the next year. This is the likely period when people think of business strategies for the next year.
Readers picking up the May issue will notice a sharper logo, new colors and changed typography. There is more space inside between the lines, and photographs are larger thanks to an increased budget. The columns have been moved down to allow for more white space on top. Also, three of the five monthly sections have been renamed to include broader coverage of technology, product reviews, company profiles and features.
Entrepreneur competes in a pool of titles like Inc., Fortune Small Business and Fast Company. Entrepreneur Media Inc., the Irvine, CA, parent of its self-named magazine, has created a successful video, syndication, online, books and special editions franchise for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur has escaped the notoriety earned by some others vying for the same small business audience. Inc. and Fast Company have had well-documented problems meeting their paid-circulation goals, culminating in them missing their rate base in the last Audit Bureau of Circulations period. They also resorted to counting non-paid circulation on their statements.
“These two titles have greater total circulation than us, but Inc. has one-third and Fast Company 40 percent of our newsstand sales,” Tavarozzi said. “FSB [Fortune Small Business] had always been a non-paid publication.
“They recently started converting their readers to paid by including the $5 subscription price in the cost of the American Express Small Business card renewal fee,” he said of FSB. “And they're not on newsstand. We don't consider them a circulation competitor.”
Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters