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How do I really get to know my readers?

There is no stronger sales tool than really getting to understand your readers, to envisage who the reader is and to write specifically for that person, writes Magazine Heroes’ Dan Collins.

By Dan Collins

How do I really get to know my readers?

Often, I hear the phrase “We sell to an AB1 profile” – but what does this really mean?

If you understand the reader, then they will want your magazine. In the new era of technology, getting insight is easier than ever but the insight that data can give you can be two-dimensional - there is nothing better than getting out and about in the streets or visiting retailers to meet your customers. This can be done in a number of ways.

Reader Events

What can be better than bringing your magazine to life? This doesn’t need to be a high budget affair but can be designed around your budget and your readers. Invite your editors or writers to speak, bring an interview to life on stage, run a quiz or simply hold a get together. Events can help you meet your readers and true advocates at the same time as selling a subscription, helping your journalists to visualise the reader, and increasing your relationships along the way.

Brand To Hand Marketing

If you want to see who is interested in your magazine, there is no better way to meet customers than brand to hand marketing and product sampling. By giving out products for free to the public, you can have an instant barometer of who will take the magazine and who will not. Your staff can talk to the public, asking questions and gaining intelligence that can be fed back to publishers and advertisers. For a new title just starting out, this can be extremely beneficial and can help shape your title’s growth. For a more established title, this can be an excellent marketing activity for brand awareness at the same time as reaching new readers to sell in further retail or subscription sales. In all cases, when running this kind of activity, this can be either a sample of the product or the product itself but it should always include a call to action - whether that be a competition for data collection, retail vouchers or a fantastic subscription offer.

In-Retail Theatre

Whether it’s a giveaway, a voucher or a meet and greet, events inside the retailers that you sell in are an invaluable source of connecting with your readers and can be extremely insightful. It is often an unexplored avenue for promotion but one that can happen if you find the right proposition. Bringing the magazine to life inside the stores that sell it will not only help sales but will help publishers understand how the magazines are displayed, and therefore how important front cover design is as a sales tool too! In the world that we are living in, it is fundamental to think outside the box – just because something hasn’t been tried before does not mean it can’t happen and won’t be successful. Why can’t a gardening magazine give out seeds, an opera magazine entertain the shoppers with an aria or a food magazine sample some tasty recipes – all of this is possible and a fun way to meet your readers.

Attending Events

Whatever the occasion – be it the Jubilee celebrations, Goodwood, Wimbledon or the Commonwealth Games – you can always meet your readers at high footfall events where you can not only sell your magazines but sell subscriptions too. Being extremely targeted, you can home in on events that would suit your readers’ tastes, and therefore really meet them and form close connections.

There are many ways to understand your readers - but the best way is to meet them, to speak to them and to understand why they love your brand and your publication. The insight that this can give is invaluable - whether you are a publisher, journalist or commercial sales manager, knowing and meeting your readers can help to inform and grow your magazine.

Just because something hasn’t been tried before does not mean it can’t happen and won’t be successful.

About us

Dan Collins started Magazine Heroes after many years working in the media industry as a marketing and circulation director. He has worked on many brand campaigns, events and launched magazines across the globe. Magazine Heroes can consult with you to help maximise your circulation. They provide a cost effective solution and can work on all levels from high to low budgets.

07889 985312