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Author Topic: Magazine subscriptions  (Read 7071 times)
jerryl

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« on: April 28, 2009, 09:58:14 PM »

 Reciently I chose not to renew 2 RRmag. subscriptions.  One I had for MANY years, the other for only a few. Neither one contacted me to find out why.  Seems they would want to know if i didn't like the format, I died, was upset about the price increase or was displeased about something else. Huh? Railroad mags have a small circulation compared to many other mags. & you would think they would be interested in keeping everyone they could.  Maybe things are going better for them than I think. 
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hotrainlover

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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 10:05:37 PM »

Same here.  I let mine go...  Recession and all.  If they had decreased their prices, (having been a customer 20+ years) I might still be a customer....  I did get 4 reminders that I was forgetting to renew ...

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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 12:26:15 AM »

Since we installed indoor plumbing, we no longer have a need for magazines.   Cheesy
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
grumpy

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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 12:56:14 AM »

Bob
Some people like to have a library. It is usually nice and quiet so that a person can read.
Don
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jward


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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 07:49:09 AM »

i agree about the customer service. i subscribed to a model rail magazine over the phone back in february. i have yet to receive an issue.

oh well, the model magazines keep dumbing down their content. i'd rather read trains......
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Santa Fe buff

N&W


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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 08:38:49 AM »

My friend had that problem. Except, his i]Model Railroader[/i] subscription was placed last December. They didn't know exactly about the problem until my friend contacted them. This was somewhere around the release of the February issue, so while they logged him into to the computer, he finally received his first issue, the March issue. He wasn't given on-line access until April, probably something got mixed up.

Try contacting them, jward, something good might happen.

I, too, think it's sad how not many Model Railroad magazines are around... Like Model Railroading, Model Trains, and a few others. At least since Kalmbach Publishing also focuses on other aspects of model trains, not to mention real trains. Kalmback Publishing may only be up and running parically due to the fact they sell other more 'in style' magazines along with Model Railroader.

See here: http://www.kalmbach.com/kpc/default.aspx

Joshua
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- Joshua Bauer
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 11:36:13 AM »

Disclaimer - while I am a regular contributor for one major magazine, I have no knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the publisher.

I would expect that just by shear numbers, contacting each individual who did not renew would be a nearly impossible task, and not worth the return on the investment. For instance, if a magazine has a paid mail subscription base of 26,000, and you figure 10% turnover every year, that's 2,600 people not renewing. At 260 business days a year, that's 10 people per day to call and check up on. In other words, that's at least one person's salary to pay just to find out why people are dropping the magazine. Assuming this is a lower to mid-level position, that's $40K plus health, payroll taxes, 401 (k), etc., probably around $60K when all is said and done. Assuming that of those 10% who drop the magazine, 10% of those can be convinced to re-up for another year, that's 260 subscriptions, at $30/year. You've just spent $60K to bring back in $7,800. In other words, you're losing money trying to keep subscribers.

Most magazines send out periodic reader surveys to try to get a pulse on what readers want, don't want, etc. That's typically the most useful tool for determining content, as the responses can be quite detailed as to why readers like or don't like something--and they're targeting all readers, not just the disgruntled ones who are leaving.

Later,

K
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 12:52:22 PM »

Dear All,

Kalmabach's customer service answers its 800 number and has been very good, helpful and patient with me.

If you've got an issue, give them a call.  It's their dime. 

How can they not listen to your comment, or help you get your subscription straightened out?

If you have subscribed, the worst that can happen is they'll tell you when you should get your first issue. 

(800) 533-6644

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik   

   
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jward


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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 05:50:24 PM »

that's ok, except that it isn't kalmbach whose magazine i subscribed to. i will have to look up their customer service number and give it a try.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jerryl

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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 10:17:31 AM »

  Yes, both mags. have my email. Wouldn't cost much to type a few words & press "SEND".    Just seems they don't care why people drop out.
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 10:42:48 AM »

Jerry,

You took the time and effort to tell us.

Why not tell them?   
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Old John


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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 11:46:43 AM »

Kalmbach's 800 Customer Service is very responsive and goes out of their way to help.  I had a billing problem on some DVD's and they stayed on the phone for 30 minutes resolving the problem.

RMC on the other hand insists that subscription questions, problems or change of address be handled via the mail.  They do offer a subscription Email address, but do not respond or acknowledge your inquiries to it.  I've sent them 4 Emails in mid March and have yet hear back.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 11:48:57 AM by Old John » Logged
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 02:31:46 PM »

  Yes, both mags. have my email. Wouldn't cost much to type a few words & press "SEND".    Just seems they don't care why people drop out.
That's the point, though--it does cost them in terms of human resources. Sending an e-mail is free. Devoting an entire day day to the task of sending out e-mails to everyone who drops the magazine isn't free, because you've got to pay that person to send those e-mails. Your return on investment is pretty low. In most cases, it makes more sense to have that person concentrate on generating more new subscribers. So long as your overall net is positive, you're in good shape.

Some magazine business models are based on high turnover rates. For instance, my wife and I get two or three parenting magazines right now, because we've got two young children. In two more years, those magazines will have zero relevance to us. Their sales staff isn't going to call us and ask why we dropped. It's a foregone conclusion that we will have outgrown the content. Fortunately, the local maternity wards keep them supplied with plenty of new readers.

The time to tell a magazine what you think of their content is while you subscribe to them, not when you drop them. Once you've made up your mind to leave, there's little incentive on the part of the magazine to "make right." I work in TV, and it's very much the same way. When a viewer calls us and tells us they're mad and not going to watch us anymore, nothing we do is going to change their mind--even if we were to institute the changes they want. On the other hand, if a viewer calls with a suggestion as to what they think would make them more likely to continue to watch, we take that much more seriously. Our sales and marketing folks generally don't bother with the disgruntled viewer. It's much more productive to serve the ones who are there, and generate new ones.

Later,

K
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2009, 07:13:02 PM »

Actually, it doesn't require even one second of "manpower" time to notify those who let their subscriptions lapse.  Remember this is the age of computers and automation.

All subscriptions are entered into a suspense database. After a preset number of days after the expiration date, an email is sent automatically to a lapsed subcriber. After another preset number of days, a second notice is sent automatically, usually offering a special discount to renew the subscription.

Some publishers generate a mass mailing to subscribers shortly before the expiration dates, offering a great savings for early renewal. Again these mailings are generated automatically based on a preset suspense schedule.

I have many deadlines to meet, my computer notifies me of them daily at first boot. I programmed a special database based strictly on our needs.
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2009, 07:30:29 PM »

When I dropped my subscription to MR, they sent me all kinds of special offers.  Unfortunately, the special offers were valid only in the USA.  I let them know that I would renew my subscription if they would extend those offers to me up here in Canada.  They wouldn't.  I didn't.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
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