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[OPPORTUNITY] Subscribe to a New Method
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[OPPORTUNITY] Subscribe to a New Method

October 6th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Is there really no better way to solicit new magazine subscribers than these little cards that litter the floors of homes, bookstores, airports, train stations, convenience stores and countless other locations? They seem to be a ploy from an older era and could really use some updating.

First, let’s look at the design. They are generally ~4″ x ~6″ in size - similar to a standard postcard. The stock is often more rigid than the pages of the magazine, causing pages to turn involuntarily and making flipping to a certain section of the magazine more difficult. Sometimes they are stapled/bound in with the other pages, sometimes they are loose, like the ones above. Perhaps the loose ones are doing exactly what they are designed to do in this photo above. Scattered on the floor they may catch the eye of passers by who may not have been considering that particular periodical on that shopping trip.

A large reason I take issue with this design is the postcard form factor. It is a post card because the intent is for people to mail it in to begin their subscription. Personally, I enjoy getting some sort of confirmation of my purchase commitment and don’t subscribe to the message in a bottle technique. Therefore I use this great tool called the internet to subscribe to magazines. I wonder how many of these cards actually get mailed in each year? How does that compare to the total new subscription revenue for a magazine?

In the age of the internet, could this design use a refresh? Could the card be printed on a different stock? What if it were printed on Tyvek? It would be durable enough to withstand mailing, but flexible enough to allow the pages to lay flat. Couldn’t the card be bound in the magazine and half the size of the traditional card? Couldn’t it be relegated to the area inside the back cover so it would not affect the reading experience? What if the card was perforated in to tabs that would allow multiple browsers to take away a ’stub’ with the website printed on it to look up at their leisure? How long can we hang on to analog methods in the digital world?

Tags: Opportunity


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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 fat loss 4 idiots // Oct 8, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Hey more pics please, you must balance the text and the pictures :D

  • 2 DK // Oct 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for the feedback. It’s tough to find a balance between pics and prose. Every once in a while something hits me and requires a more lengthy commentary. I’ll try to keep the pics of design examples coming more frequently.

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