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


On-off
The monthly movement of old subscribers leaving the active subscription file on expiry and new subscription orders entering the file after renewing or responding to new subscription promotions

Open Credit
The number of subscribers on file who have responded to soft offers and are receiving copies without having paid for their subscriptions. These subscribers will be cancelled if payment has not received by the publisher after a given number of copies have been delivered (see “Mass cancel�)

Outsert
A sheet of paper covering one side of a magazine and normally containing the mailing label. Often used for promotional purposes such as notifying subscribers of the final issue before expiry (see “Cover wrap�)

Pay-up rate
The proportion of new subscribers who, after responding to a “bill-me� or soft offer, pay their invoice

Premium
Incentives for people to become new subscribers, or for existing subscribers to renew

Prior source
Source codes of subscription orders before they renew

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

Production
The number of new subscription orders entered to the fulfilment system since the last report was run

Profile
Common characteristics of a group of subscribers

Promotion code
A unique code which identifies a specific promotion (also known as “Source code�)

Promotion cost
Costs of a subscription promotion campaign – including list rental costs, de-dupe costs, cost of printing and posting the promotion package, premium costs, BRE costs and invoicing costs

Prospect lists
Mailing lists of people (usually held on databases) who, because of their demographics, are potential subscribers

Qualified subscriber
Any reader of a Controlled Circulation magazine whose statements on the registration form verify that he (or she) meets the targeted audience requirements of the publication and is therefore entitled to receive free copies

RAB (or Renew-at-Birth)
An up-sell subscription order (eg moving a subscriber from a 1-year to a 2-year term length)

Rate base
A US term used to specify the level of circulation which is guaranteed (for each issue or over a six month period) for advertising sales purposes

Re-instates
Suspended subscribers who pay their invoice after the cut-off date and are subsequently re-instated to the active subscription file

Re-qualification
The renewal of controlled circulation registrations

Recipient
The person who receives a gift subscription

Remit
The proportion of the subscription price remitted from an agent to a publisher after agent commission has been deducted

Renewal
The process for extending an existing subscription order. First time renewals are often called “conversions� or “sensitive renewals�; second time renewals are often called “semi-sensitive renewals�; and third and subsequent time renewals are often called “firm renewals� or “pure renewals� (see “Conversion�)

Renewal rate
Number of renewals sold to a group of subscription expires, divided by the total number of subscription expires in that group

Renewal series
A scheduled series of promotional efforts sent to a group of subscribers. Usually starts well before expiry date and generally continues a few months after expiry date

Requested cancellations
Subscriptions cancelled by the subscriber

Returns
Magazines that are distributed for sale on the newsstands but remain unsold (see “Sell-through rate�)

ROI (or Return on Investment)
A measurement of short-term profitability from subscription promotion campaigns and calculated as follows: (First year subscription revenue – promotion costs) ¸ Promotion costs

Seed name
A fictitious name and address included in the active subscription file to monitor the timing of delivery of each issue, the timing of delivery of renewal efforts, and the usage of list rentals

Self-mailer
A mailed promotion designed so that a portion of it can be used for a reply (eg double postcard)

Sell-through rate
The percentage of distributed newsstand copies that are actually sold (see “Returns�). Also known as “Sales efficiency�

Sensitive renewal
Renewals sold to first-time subscribers (see “Conversion�)

Short-term subscription
Subscriptions lasting less than one year

Snap pack
A type of self-mailer promotion used by international magazines to save postage costs

Soft offer
A new subscription offer which treats the first few issues as a no-obligation trial. Subscribers can cancel their subscriptions during this time without payment by writing “cancel� on their invoices

Source code
A unique code which identifies a specific promotion. Sources codes are normally structured to identify the source group, promotion date, mailing list used, offer and creative (also known as “Promotion code�)

Source evaluation
A financial appraisal of the profitability of new subscriptions sold through a particular source group. 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 (see also “Lifetime value�)

Source group
The marketing channel that produced a subscription sale, such as Direct Mail, Insert Cards or Off-Page-Ads.

Split tests
Two similar and representative samples from the same list (designated as A and B) and used for comparison purposes. For example, a 1-year subscription at £50 could be promoted to sample A, and a 1-year subscription for the same product at £40 could be promoted to sample B

Stamp sheet agents
Subscription agents which use direct mail to promote magazine subscriptions on behalf of a variety of publishers. Promotions contain a sheet of stamps, with each stamp describing a particular magazine on offer

Starts
New subscribers coming onto the active subscription file for the first time and scheduled to receive their first issue of the magazine

Subscription 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

Subscription liability
The total value of paid-up but unserved subscription copies due to subscribers, part of which will be released to the publisher`s Profit & Loss account each time an issue is served. This amount should, in theory, be returned to subscribers if the publication closes down

Suppression file
File made up of names of people who have indicated that they do not want to receive direct marketing offers. Examples include the Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service

Suspends
Subscribers removed from the active subscription file because of non-payment. No further copies are despatched to this group

Telemarketing
Selling subscriptions by telephone (ie out-bound telemarketing). Responding to new subscribers who place their orders by telephone (ie in-bound telemarketing)

Term
The number of issues within one subscription contract (eg 12 months, 2 years)

Third party
Promotion arranged and implemented through non-publishing partners

Trial subscription
A short-term introductory subscription which allows casual readers to sample the publication at minimal cost

Unidentified renewals
Renewal orders received as a result of promotions initiated by the publisher which are outside the normal renewal series, such as Insert Cards and Off-page-Ads containing offers for existing subscribers

Unpaid copies
Copies delivered to new credit subscribers before payment has been made

Welcome letter
A letter sent to new subscribers containing a welcome message and a subscription extension offer

White mail
Unsolicited subscription orders