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Alan Weaver Associates - Subscription marketing glossary
Category: Management > Subscription marketing
Date & country: 20/11/2007, UK
Words: 150


ABC
The Audit Bureau of Circulations (see “Audit Bureau�)

ACORN
A system of classifying UK households into 56 demographic groups

Acquisition costs
The total cost of obtaining new subscribers. This would typically include promotion costs, return postage cost, invoicing and premium costs, and the cost of free copies despatched before bad payers are cut-off. Typically, each source group has different acquisition costs

Active subscription
A subscription receiving copies. There are two types: active paid (which continues until subscriptions expire without renewing) and active unpaid (which occurs when subscribers have taken out subscriptions on credit or “bill-me� offers and before they have paid their subscription or have been cut-off for non-payment)

Actives
The number of active subscriptions (as opposed to lapsed, suspended or cancelled subscriptions) on the file, issue-by-issue

Adds
New names added to the subscription file, and particularly used with Controlled Circulation titles

Advance renewal
Renewals generated by promotional efforts sent out well in advance of publishers` regular renewal series (also known as “Early-bird renewal�)

Advertiser copies
Each advertiser in a given issue is normally sent a copy of that issue to check the advert

Advertising driven publication
A publication that derives more than half of its sales revenues from advertising (see “Circulation driven publication�)

Affinity programmes
Joint marketing programmes carried out by publishers and their partners (such as financial services and travel companies). Publishers promote subscriptions to their partners` customers, and partners promote their products and services to subscribers

Agent-sold subscriptions
Paid subscriptions sold by commissionable, outside agencies. There are five types of subscription agents: traditional (Swets-Blackwell etc); specialist (Nordic Subscription Services, Repromotie etc); stamp-sheet (PCH etc); affinity (ADLP, Synapse etc); and electronic (subscription.co.uk etc)

Alternative delivery
Delivery of subscription copies by private carriers outside the Royal Mail postal system

Ancillary products
Any non-magazine or non-newspaper products or services sold by publishers to readers. Examples include books, conferences and branded merchandise

Arrears
Another word for grace copies

Audit Bureau
An independent organisation which audits the claimed circulation of its publisher members on behalf of advertisers and advertising agencies (eg ABC, BPA)

Automatic renewal
Subscriptions sold with Direct Debit or Continuous Credit Card payments which renew automatically until the subscriber cancels. (also known as “Continuous renewal� and “Negative option�)

Back issues
Copies delivered to a new subscriber which are older than the current issue

Backdating (or Back-starting)
Starting new subscriptions with back issues rather than with the current issue. This can be requested by the subscriber or could be initiated by the publisher to increase circulation volumes within an ABC audit period

Bad pay
Those people who respond to new subscription promotions offering credit terms (eg. 'send no money now...') and who fail to settle their accounts. Their subscriptions are then cancelled by the publisher

Bad pay copies
Copies sent to a non-paying credit subscriber before they are cut-off for non-payment

Basic rate
A magazine`s standard, published subscription price, usually for one year

Bill-me offer
A new subscription offer which does not require payment in advance of copies being despatched (see also “Credit subscription�)

Billing cost
Cost of billing credit subscriptions acquired through “bill-me� offers

Bind-ins
Another word for bound inserts

Bound inserts
Subscription promotion cards bound into each issue of a magazine. Also known as “bind-ins� or “blow-ins�

BPA International
An audit bureau mainly for business-to-business publications (see “Audit Bureau�)

BRE`s
Business rely envelopes, often used in new subscription promotions to increase response

Bulk subscriptions
Multiple subscriptions sold to one customer, usually at a discount. Special audit regulations apply to these sales

Bundle
Subscriptions to two or more different publications sold at a special combined rate (also known as “Product bundle�)

Caging
(An old concept connected with cash processing). The department within a fulfilment operation which processes incoming mail containing cheques and credit card payments

Cancel
Discontinuing an active subscription before expiry, usually at the request of the subscriber

Charter subscription
A term often used in the US to describe subscriptions taken out at the launch of a new publication, usually at a discounted rate

Cheshire labels
Non-adhesive 4-up address labels printed on computer listing paper and fixed to magazine wrappers by a special “Cheshire� machine

Circulation driven publication
A publication that derives more than half of its sales revenues from circulation (see “Advertising driven publication�)

Circulation modelling
Using a PC and spreadsheet package to calculate the financial consequences of different circulation development strategies

Cold mail
Direct mail to people whose names and addresses are obtained from external mailing lists

Commission
A payment to a subscription agency, usually a percentage amount of the subscription price. The agency collects from the subscriber, deducts the commission and remits the balance to the publisher

Compiled list
A mailing list generated from name and address records found in directories, newspapers, membership records etc. Unlike subscriber lists and direct marketing sales lists, people in compiled lists have not shown any preferences for buying products through direct marketing

Control
In subscription promotion tests, the basic package against which other promotions are compared

Controlled circulation
Trade and technical publications sent free-of-charge to specific groups of readers. Recipients are selected by publishers on the basis of their demographics (job title, industry type etc) and are subject to special audit regulations

Conversion
Confusingly, this word is often used in three ways: any first-time renewal (where it is also known as “sensitive renewal�); the process of converting Controlled Circulation readers into paid subscribers; and the process of converting Forced-Free Trial readers into paid subscribers

Cost per paid order
The ratio of the promotion cost relative to the number of paid orders (promotion cost / paid orders)

Cover wrap
Also called a “wrap�, “wrapper� or carrier sheet�. A sheet of paper attached to both sides of a magazine and normally containing the mailing label. Often used for promotional purposes such as notifying subscribers of their final issue before expiry (see “Outsert�)

CPM
Promotion cost per thousand (also known as “CPT�)

CPO
Cost per order or, more precisely, marketing cost per subscription order

Credit order
A new subscription order which does not require payment to be made at the time of sale. The subscriber is billed for the subscription price and received copies straightaway, before the payment is received

Credit subscriptions
Copies served on subscriptions sold on credit through “Bill-me� offers. If payment is received, the copies delivered become paid copies. If not, they are considered unpaid copies and written-off as part of the calculation of promotion profitability

Cross-sell
A promotion method in which customers of one product are offered another product, often at a discounted rate

Deferred income
(Also known as “Subscription liability�) Subscription payments made by subscribers to publishers in advance of issues being sent, and accounted for in the publisher`s Balance Sheets. After each issue is released a proportion of deferred income is transferred to the publisher`s Profit & Loss account (see also “Earned income�). The accounting is as follows: Earned income + Deferred income = Total subscription price.

Deletes
Existing names deleted from the subscription file, and particularly used with Controlled Circulation titles

Demographics
Characteristics of a group of readers. These could include age, income, gender and household type (for consumer titles); or job title, company size and industry sector (for business-to-business titles)

Direct request
Readers of controlled circulation magazines who have verified (in writing, by telephone or through the web) that they are qualified to receive the publication free of charge and that they want to receive it

Donor
The purchaser of a gift subscription

Draw
The number of newsstand copies that are distributed to wholesalers each issue

Dupes (or Duplicates)
Two copies of the same subscriber record, differing only in minor details such as flat number, company name etc, and often occurring when renewal orders are erroneously re-entered as new subscriptions

Early-bird renewal
Renewals generated by promotional efforts sent out well in advance of publishers` regular renewal series (also known as “Advance renewal�)

Earned income
The proportion of the total subscription price which is booked to the publisher`s Profit & Loss account, issue by issue (also known as “Revenue release�). The accounting is as follows: Earned income + Deferred income = Total subscription price

Effort
Any individual promotion to a subscriber or prospect such as an insert card, off-page-ad or renewal letter. Renewal and billing series both contain several efforts

Expire date (or expiry date)
The date on which the last issue of a subscription contract is delivered

Expire(s)
As a verb, what happens when a subscription reaches the end of the contract without renewing. As a noun, a group of subscriptions whose contracts terminate at a certain date (eg “the January 2002 expires�).

Forced-free trials (or FFTs)
A short-term, free subscription sent without request to targeted groups of readers with the goal of converting them into paid subscribers. Most often used by newsletter publishers

Free list
Free copies given to selected readers (also known as “Comp list�)

Frequency
The time period between successive issues of a publication such as weekly, monthly or quarterly

FSI
Free-standing insert, such as a product brochure, inserted into or packed with the publication

Fulfilment
An all-inclusive term referring to the numerous tasks involved with creating, updating and maintaining subscriber lists – which include payment processing, subscription accounting, label production, renewals, circulation auditing and marketing reporting. Fulfilment can be carried out in-house or sub-contracted to an external service bureau (also known as “Subscription fulfilment�)

Future starts
New subscriptions, entered with instructions to deliver the first issue at a specified date in the future

Gift subscriptions
Subscriptions paid for by someone other than the recipient

Giro
A payment method widely used in continental Europe. Giro accounts are set up at banks or post offices and funds are electronically transferred from one account to another

Gone-aways
Returned mailings when the address on the envelope is no longer valid

Grace copies (or gracing)
Copies delivered free of charge to subscribers after they have expired. ABC regulations define how grace copies can be counted as valid circulation

Gross response
The total number of prospects who order a subscription from a given promotion, irrespective of whether or not they are paid for. The number is expressed as a percentage of total promotions mailed (see also “Net response�)

Group subscriptions
Subscriptions sold in quantity to companies or organisations

Hard offer
A new subscription offer which does not treat the first few issues as a no-obligation trial

House lists
A database of current and previous customers such as subscribers, book buyers and conference delegates

Identified renewals
Renewals resulting from the publisher`s regular renewal series. Renewal orders from promotions other than the renewal series are called “Unidentified renewals�

Instalment billing
Allowing a subscriber to pay in instalments

Interval
The time period between successive renewal efforts

Inventory
A fulfilment report showing all subscriptions for a given publication, usually sorted by a common parameter such as expiry date, subscription price, term length or source group

Issue
Copies of a publication with a specific date on the cover (eg the January 2002 issue)

Issues-to-go
The number of issues remaining before the expiry of a subscription

Key
The promotion code which appears somewhere on each subscription order (see also “Source code�)

Lapsed subscribers
Subscribers who have not renewed their subscriptions.

Lifetime value
A financial appraisal of the long-term profitability of new subscriptions sold through a particular promotion campaign. In this appraisal year-on-year costs (from new subscription and renewal promotions, magazine production, fulfilment and postage) are subtracted from year-on-year revenues (from new subscriptions, renewals, list rentals, cross-sales and advertising) to calculate a forecast lifetime value. The calculation is also known as “Source evaluation�

List broker
Agents who rent mailing lists on behalf of list owners

Loose inserts
Subscription promotion cards placed un-bound into each issue of a magazine. Known in the USA as “Blow-ins�

Mail quantity
The number of pieces mailed in a direct mail campaign

Mailing house
Third party bureau for inserting promotional items into envelopes, attaching mailing labels, sorting by postcode, and ensuring the items enter the postal system

Main label run
All labels initially produced for a particular issue. Additional labels for new subscriptions entering the subscription file after the date of the main label run are called “ Late labels�

Mass cancel
The automatic cancellation of any group of subscribers who have not paid for their subscriptions after a certain time period (see “Open credit�)

Member-get-Member
A promotion method where existing subscribers are given incentives to persuade their friends and colleagues to become new subscribers

Merge-purge
The process of combining two or more mailing lists to remove duplicate records

Multi-buyers
A list of duplicate names found on several mailing lists during a merge/purge process. The multi-buyers file often generates the highest response

Negative option
Subscriptions sold with Direct Debit or Continuous Credit Card payments which renew automatically until the subscriber cancels. (also known as “Automatic renewal� and “Continuous renewal�)

Net paid subscriptions
Subscriptions bought and paid for by the recipient

Net Present Value
A financial expression, used in Lifetime Value calculations, where the value of future profits is represented by a single number. For example, the Net Present Value of a subscription promotion campaign which generates profits at the following time: Year 1 = (£1,000); Year 2 = £2,000 and Year 3 = £1,000, and with the bank interest rate at 6% is £1,777. This is less than adding together each annual profit figure (£2,000 in this case) because £1 profit generated in the future is worth less than £1 profit generated now.

Net response
The total number of subscription orders from a given promotion that are actually paid for, expressed as a percentage of total promotions mailed (see also “Gross response�)

Net subscriptions
Gross subscriptions less cancelled subscriptions plus reinstated subscriptions

New business
New subscriptions (as opposed to renewals)

Nixies
A US term for “gone-aways�

Non-subscribing donor
A person who gives a subscription but does not order his or her own subscription at the same time