The first thing I do when I get a magazine in the mail is throw out those annoying inserts that beckon me to subscribe.  Why do subscribers get hounded to subscribe?

Maybe they are meant to inspire gift subscriptions; if so, then target the message that way.  Maybe they are put in all the magazines; if so, then find a way to do two press runs and leave them out of subscribers’ issues.

As someone who sends a fair amount of direct mail through work, I know that all of these reply mechanisms are tracked, and I can’t believe that they are worth the price of the paper they are printed on. In this era of analytics, publishers should evaluate this practice on effectiveness, environmental consciousness and cost savings.  I’d bet the inserts would lose the trifecta.

Maybe the idea peeves me because it is another example of treating everyone the same, even when you have ready accessible data to distinguish frequent customers from non.  What does your organization do that is the equivalent of pesky little advertising flyers?  Instead of appreciating your best users are you annoying them with one of your practices? Have you evaluated what works or do you just keep doing things because that is how you have always done them?

Take a moment to identify what is your insert and throw it away just as fast as I toss what falls out of my magazine.

— beth triplett

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