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Fortunately, "expired" usually doesn't meet the coroner's definition. (Renewals).

In many industries, people leaving their job or company can be the single highest reason for not renewing. One publisher who noticed heavy turnover in her industry now prints on the renewal envelope, "Please route to _____ if addressee no longer here."

Another publisher reports success with telemarketing in such instances. A telephone call can find either where that "expired" subscriber moved to or who replaced that person--often both, which offers the advantage of not only tracking down the former subscriber but also getting the name of a new prospect.

Telemarketing to expires essential

Telemarketing--even to those adverse to it, which includes many small operators--is always recommended at expiration and one month later. Even if the phone calls don't yield a renewal, they can uncover the reason a person doesn't want to renew. That information can benefit editors and marketers.

NEPA executive director Patti Wysocki, writing in The Ultimate Guide to Newsletter Publishing, says, "Most newsletter publishers will tell you that your expires are your best prospects. The philosophy is that they know your product and understand its value. The opposing way of thinking is that, if the expire knows how valuable your product is, why did they let it expire in the first place?

"Many publishers call expires the month before, month of or the month after expire. It is truly amazing how many of those expires never knew they were about to or had expired--even after receiving six renewal notices (or more) previously....

"If you do no other telemarketing" Wysocki advises, "please do call your subscribers at expire. It is really important for them to know that there is no more time to renew--they must renew now to assure they receive the important information that your newsletter delivers."

One other important tip: Many publishers never use the word "expire." Al Goodloe, for one, is particularly opposed to sending a final notice stamped, "Your subscription has expired." That is too final, too conclusive. He continues to write his expires without ever telling them that they are no longer in good standing. At the most, he refers to them as "lapsed subscribers."

Handwritten notes

Dan Capell, former News-week circulation director and editor-publisher of Capell's Circulation Report, jots handwritten notes on post-expire renewal notices--something as simple as, "We miss you!" and signed by the publisher or circulation director-or even editor.

NL/NL recently employed Capell's technique with impressive results. Perhaps it's the personalization that finally made the renewal notice stand out--which would recommend the practice to even earlier notices.

Finally, if all else fails, don't "bury" your expires. Wysocki writes, "What do you do once they are really gone? As mentioned earlier, put all your expires on your prospect list and develop a system of mailing to them on a regular basis. Most newsletter publishers mail to their expire list between two and six times a year. Some publishers believe that price may be a problem, so they offer a discounted offer to expires once they are out of the renewal cycle."

RELATED ARTICLE: Hudson on expires

"Regardless of how subscribers come and go, the expires will produce a list that will prove to be better than any other list you will obtain. Newcomers to newsletter publishing find this hard to grasp.

"This is because they persist in believing that people are always rational and always make logical decisions. A subscriber may have been going through an emotional crisis, such as a divorce. This crisis has to be resolved before you can get the person's attention.

"This is a reason to keep on mailing to your expires, usually as part of your house list, or, sometimes, in a mailing designed only for them."

Howard Penn Hudson

Publishing Newsletters

A tip on capturing e-mail addresses

If e-mailing notices is part of your renewal campaign, you may discover that you don't have that many e-mail addresses. Most publishers try to get them from new and renewing subscribers on the order forms-often without success.

Caroline Frost, director of marketing, Informa Professional (U.K.), reports "a big increase in capturing e-mail addresses" since they moved the line asking for them up from next to the phone number to right after the person's name. Don't ask why' just try it.
COPYRIGHT 2002 The Newsletter on Newsletters LLC
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Apr 15, 2002
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