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QuickFill advises to keep renewal series simple and without gimmicks.

In its Application Notes newsletter, the QuickFill fulfillment system's professionals weigh in on some perennially argued renewal tactics--such as whether or not to state the expire date on the renewal form, to offer premiums, and to accept credit cards.

Here's their advice:

* Don't confuse the subscriber. A renewal notice that is unclear about the terms you're offering or the expiration date of the current subscription will likely end up in the circular file.

Be up front about stating subscription terms and the expire date.

* Premiums make little or no difference in renewals. Many publishers spend a lot of time, effort, and money creating unusual messages and premiums to accompany their renewal notices. Our own experience--which has been limited to business publications--is that these "extras" make little or no difference in the number of renewals you'll receive.

We have tested special enclosures, premiums, binders, information about upcoming issues, postage-paid reply envelopes, and just about anything else you can think of. None of them had any consistent effect on renewals.

We finally concluded that the best approach was to keep things simple. By the time renewal time rolls around, your subscriber will know whether he or she wants to continue receiving your publication.

Our advice: Make it easy for them to renew and make sure you don't confuse them. Doing anything beyond that is likely to be wasted effort.

* Credit card offers depress response. You should be particularly wary of offering payment by credit card. We have seen through our own tests and heard consistent reports from others that doing so can depress renewals. If you want to offer credit cards on your renewal notices, we strongly suggest that you conduct a test to see what the effect is on your publication(s).

QuickFill, 800-762-7702,
COPYRIGHT 2004 The Newsletter on Newsletters LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Renewals
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Oct 31, 2004
Previous Article:When a guarantee is more than a guarantee.
Next Article:Should you make multi-year offers for new subs and/or renewals?

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