Wired editor-in-chief on magazine circulation practices

December 6, 2007

Take those “blow-in” subscription cards that we put in our magazines. Our circulation department wants to put in as many as possible, because five cards have a slightly higher chance of one being sent back than four, and six is slightly higher yet. As long as those cards earn more in subscriptions than the cost of paper and print, they’re consider a good thing from the circulation department perspective.Yet as we editors who talk to readers and get their email know, people HATE those cards. They fall out of magazines when you pick them up, forcing you to bend over to retrieve them and find a trash can in which to throw them away. [The Connection Between Global Warming, PR spam and Magazines]

Why do magazine circulation departments treat people like idiots? Well, sadly you know the answer to that one, too: because it works. [When is my industry going to stop lying?]

Good reads, both.

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