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Cover Girls

Attach magnets to magazine. Await deluge of customers.

Sometimes you have to use in-your-face tactics when communicating with teens. That's what Becky Lerdal and May Swenson, founders of Maybe It's Time Inc., did when they had their word magnets (with messages like "Be carefree" and "Throw like a girl") and stationery attached to covers of Teen magazine's August 2000 issue.

"We've done a lot of giveaways inside magazines, but we've never had a promotion of this magnitude," says Lerdal. The idea came about after the partners sent out press releases with product samples to teen magazines early last year. After finding an accessories editor for Teen who liked their playful products, Lerdal, 46, and Swenson, 47, got the chance to meet with Teen's marketing director to discuss how a promotional partnership could benefit both businesses.

Although it was the first time the magazine had ever affixed a product to its cover, the move was a success-the number of visitors to the Maybe It's Time Web site increased tenfold. In addition, two major retail stores, Meier's and Wal-Mart, picked up the company's line, pushing sales past the $2 million mark.

What does the future hold? Although the team doesn't have another promotion planned at the moment, Lerdal adds, "We would love to do [one]."

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This article was originally published in the October 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Cover Girls.

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