Take a Stand

A newsstand, that is. Make magazines part of your marketing mix with these five money-saving ideas for advertising in print.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If your marketing campaign is limited to newspaper and Yellow Pages ads with a smattering of internet marketing, it's time to take a serious look at what magazine advertising can do for your business. Marketing success is about reaching prospects through synergistic media. As a CrossMedia study by Dynamic Logic reveals, magazines actually outperform other media, including television and the internet, in generating "purchase intent" when tossed into the mix.

Magazine advertising allows you to tell an in-depth story, particularly when full-page and other large-size ad units are employed, and can provide all the information your prospects need to make a buying decision. This is critical, particularly if you have a new product or service in the education phase of a campaign or are introducing new features. Best of all, the variety of advertising options offered by the enormous range of trade and consumer magazines makes it easy and affordable for most entrepreneurs to jump in. Here are five ways to use magazines to win leads and sales:

1. Target with national publications. For B2B marketers, every industry has its dedicated "vertical" publications that are considerably more affordable than the "horizontal" business press, such as the major newsweeklies. There are also publications that target individuals by title, such as CMO magazine, which is read by chief marketing officers in a variety of industries. Full-page ads in national consumer magazines with large circulations may be costly, but many have special sections with affordable fractional-page ads. These are typically in the back of the publication and are highly effective for entrepreneurs marketing products.

2. Reduce costs with regional editions. If you want to run larger ads and the national magazine of your choice appears to be priced out of reach, don't lose heart. The publication may offer regional advertising opportunities at considerably more affordable rates. While not all publications accept regional ads, those that do often sell them in full-page increments only, and from the readers' standpoint, it's impossible to tell that your ad is not national.

3. Run a campaign in ethnic magazines. National and local magazines that reach ethnic audiences, including Asian Americans, blacks and Hispanics, often have lower cost-per-thousand ad rates, yet reach loyal readers who show their appreciation to advertisers. You could create a campaign for the major ethnic media, such as Ebony or Latina, but if budget is a concern, use local magazines that target ethnic audiences. In Miami, for example, Selecta magazine carries ads from local lighting and design stores, as well as restaurants and other high-end advertisers.

4. Rent subscriber lists. Did you know you can reach a magazine's subscriber base without ever advertising in the publication? You can rent lists of subscribers' e-mail or direct-mail addresses from many trade and consumer publications. Or you can get a great rate by making a combo buy--space advertising and list rental--by negotiating upfront with your sales rep.

5. Use magazine newsletters and websites. Sometimes a magazine's website actually attracts more readers than the print publication, yet the magazine charges lower rates for online advertisers. Find out if the website offers a focused "channel" or pages with specialized content favored by your target audience. For best results, negotiate placement surrounded by editorial on these pages. Also, why not investigate opportunities to use the magazine's online newsletter? This is where you'll often find the best rates, plus you'll receive an implied endorsement from the magazine while reaching their qualified subscriber base--a win-win for everyone.

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