Is Your Monthly Magazine Being Delivered?
(…to as many properties as you think it is)
In Lincolnshire we have a lot of local magazines. It seems as though they’re always popping up. What has always stuck in our minds & prevented us from advertising with this method is that we know how much effort it takes to deliver 1000 flyers never mind 1000 magazines & so we know how many staff you’d generally need to fulfil some of the massive circulation claims we see. Here we’ll break the subject down into the separate issues.
Before we get into that we’d like to say that we’re not anti magazine advertising & would love to advertise our own business in them, however the simple matter is that we only ever get “monthly” magazines sporadically ourselves (1 every 6 months!) & know the amount of people you would need to get delivering in order to match up with the distribution claims of the magazine publishers.
Even a physically fit experienced individual struggles to deliver 1000 flyers in a day & with magazines the logistics become a whole different story with magazine distributors either reliant on vehicles & someone restocking bags every now & then or delivery trolleys which in our experience staff hate using.
Assuming that magazine publishers aren’t deliberately making false claims, what can a magazine publisher do to ensure the magazines get delivered?
- Know how hard it is to deliver magazines: Many people had a paper round when they were young & have a rose tinted view of gentle strolls in the sun & envisage that this is how magazine distribution goes. Most people believe that they “could do the distribution themselves if they had the time” but the reality is that if they tried they would soon realise it’s time consuming, that you may be delivering in snow just to meet a deadline & that most people are physically unable to deliver door to door for very long & the mental aspect affects most people too, it’s not exactly the most interesting of jobs. My advice for anyone who runs a local magazine would be to deliver the majority of it yourself, not only will you save a fortune on distribution costs, you’ll know it’s getting delivered & it’s a good way to keep fit too. If you’re starting up a local magazine then timing yourself delivering to an area would give you an idea of just how long it takes.
- Know how many properties are in an area: This is where almost all local magazines fall down, the reason is that property count software is very expensive & has only come onto the market within the past few years. Until recently the only way you could tell how many properties were in an area was using the Royal Mail “postal address file” known as the PAF file. This was a list of every delivery point in the UK, including every address however it’s literally just a list & requires some form of software in order to be displayable. Try to find a distribution business which has access to property count software such as letterboxcheck, GEOplan or MOSAIC.
- Only use GPS tracked distribution staff: Nowadays GPS tracking apps are common, we use a free app & there’s no reason your distribution team can’t either.
- Consider factoring Royal Mail delivery into your pricing for advertisers: I know that for a distribution business like ours to say that Royal Mail is the best way to get out a large amount of magazines is controversial but if you think about the logistics of it, nobody else has a larger team of delivery people. Whilst you may have to raise prices a little, you’ll be certain of delivery & a lot of magazine advertisers care less about price & more about delivery than you’d think. Business owners tend to realise that the old adage is right, If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Please feel free to comment & let us know the steps you have in place to try to ensure delivery. More blog posts coming soon. Karl :)