Companies can significantly increase the effectiveness of their customer magazines by altering frequency, pagination and distribution methods, an in-depth study has revealed.
To continue its support of the customer publishing industry in an increasingly competitive advertising landscape Royal Mail has worked with Association of Publishing Agencies (APA) and Millward Brown to analyse the impact of these three key variables on reader engagement.
Currently the average number of pages for a customer magazine is 36 and the most popular frequency is quarterly.
The study unveiled a range of benefits by making some format adjustments to the customer magazine:
Frequency and pagination influence number of pick ups and percentage of magazine read.
When pagination is higher than average, 63 per cent of recipients read half or more of the magazine in comparison to 47 per cent when the number of pages is lower. Sixty two per cent of those surveyed read half or more of the magazine if the frequency was more regular than quarterly – an uplift of over 10% - and nearly double the number of recipients picked up the magazine more than five times.
Pagination has a significant effect on active response.
Over half of individuals surveyed (54 per cent) respond to calls to action when there are more than 50 pages - a 23 per cent increase on titles with fewer pages.
Perceived relevance and rating of magazine increases with frequency and pagination.
Customers respond more favourably to customer magazines, claiming they think it is “excellent and like it a lot”, when a title has more than 50 pages and a frequency higher then biannual (28 per cent and 27 per cent respectively).
Posted titles increase reading time.
The research shows that posted titles command an average of eight minutes more attention than their picked up counterparts
Magazines through the mail having more staying power.
Posted titles are kept for longer than picked up titles. A quarter of readers keep a posted title for over a month, while just 16 per cent keep a picked up title for the same length of time.
Greater pagination and frequency of titles generate longer reading times.
The average time spent with a customer magazine is 25 minutes. But a quarter of recipients will read a magazine with more pages for longer than 30 minutes.
Head of Publishing at Royal Mail, Emily Fovargue, said: “This in-depth study shows that frequency, pagination and distribution methods can have a significant effect on the success of a customer title.
“By focusing on key elements such as increasing pagination, or by adding an extra issue a year, brands can significantly raise response rates, engagement levels and rating of the title, often resulting in increased loyalty and a boost in ROI.”
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