If your job is selling subscriptions, it just got a lot easier

How to sell magazine subscriptions

Selling newspaper and magazine subscriptions is the holy grail for publishers. For the price of an acceptable discount, it guarantees a long-term commitment to buy (something any retailer would kill for in this climate), bolsters circulation figures, cements cash flow and delivers a loyal and passionate readership for the title. So, if your job is selling subs, everyone else at the publication should be bringing you cups of tea and giving you foot massages around the clock - you're the (wo)man.

But it's a hard sell, even with that discount. How do you persuade people to stump up a year's worth of money in advance when they can spread the cost of reading your title over 52 easy weekly payments*? Well... you do it by bringing disparate buyers - who, ordinarily, wouldn't feel any sense of urgency - together into a single, crystalised, limited-time transaction.

That's exactly what the UK's leading consumer magazine and digital publisher IPC have been doing for their world-famous titles, Horse & Hound (a weekly magazine) and Horse (a monthly). They've staged Price Drop Co-buys, where their readers can secure an enticing discount on subscriptions - but these discounts have had to be earned by


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Turf war! Retail VS Publishing.

Turf war! Retail v publishing

The French word for shop is 'magasin'. We reckon they're onto something, the French (beyond the nice art and the poodles and stuff), because magazines and retail go together like snails and garlic butter.

Except it's the wrong way round. Instead of publishers exerting their incredible influence and ready-made audiences to do something magical with retail, they've let the shopkeepers jump them gun on them and launch their own magazines.

And now, guess what? Tesco Magazine is the most read publication in the UK. Bigger than The Daily Mail. Bigger than The Sun. Bigger than Cage And Aviary Birds. Amazing.

It's time for the publishers to fight back, but making pennies from a cruddy bolt-on affiliate store is not the answer. Social commerce is the answer. Here's five big reasons why:

1) Social Commerce is a form of e-commerce that editors can get behind; it allows editorial teams to curate a product roster and add real value to an e-commerce offering.

2) At the same time, social commerce empowers readers rather than exploiting them. It helps grow community by rewarding readers instead of scaring them off with hard sales.

3) Rather than making a slim margin from sales (or an


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