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Hearst Magazines is having some success with its direct mail and gifting campaigns. At the Direct Marketing Association’s 26th Annual Circulation Marketing Day, Vladimir Damianov, senior promotions director for Hearst Magazines, presented the company’s findings in the “Creative Wins Focus on Print—Transitional Tests–From Big to Small” session.
Damianov said that in January 2011, Hearst offered consumers a free tote bag if they subscribed to Country Living—the results indexed at 43 percent. The same tote offer was tested in May 2011 with Good Housekeeping, and again in December 2011 with Woman’s Day—both had positive index rates, at 25 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
“There were different elements that we attribute the successes to,” says Damianov. “Now, we have successfully integrated the Hachette titles into Hearst using many of the lessons we’ve learned from direct mail. Now, they’re fully integrated into the general Hearst best practices that we have."
In May, Hearst completed its U.S. acquisition of Car & Driver, Road & Track, ELLE, ELLE DECOR and Woman’s Day. In September 2011, both Woman’s Day and Car & Driver were tested with credit adjustments—Damianov said during his presentation that the former had results indexing around 11 percent, with the latter at 12 percent. Road & Track was tested with the same credit adjustment in December 2011 and had results indexing at 9 percent.
In January 2011 Hearst launched a baseball cap premium for Popular Mechanics, which indexed at 23 percent. In December 2011 Car & Driver and Road & Track rolled out the same campaigns, with each indexing at 28 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Some important takeaways for tests Damianov presented during his presentation include:
• Successful tests can have much bigger impact if expanded to multiple titles
• Similarity of titles helps, but is not mandatory
• Early results can be read in comparison with the first title
• Test on one first, then simultaneously on 2 or 3
• Read results fast and roll out to maximize profitability
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