5 Profitable Advance-Renewal Approaches


"Advance renewals often generate the highest response rates and profits of any direct-mail piece a newsletter publisher can mail, yet many publishers don't use them effectively or at all," said Copywriter/Consultant Bob Bly. Following are five advance-renewal tips and strategies:


1.      Sell the offer. Offers that work best include:

        Discount for early renewal

        Extended subscription for early renewal (two extra issues)

        Special premium for early renewal

        Value-added service free with early renewal

(telephone hotline or Web-site access)

        Act now to lock in low rates and avoid fee increases


2.      Correct the defects. If subscriber surveys show that you don't cover mutual funds sufficiently in your investment letter, for example, acknowledge this in the advance renewal by offering a free, in-depth guide on mutual funds for early renewals.


3.      Explain the discount with unconventional reasoning. KCI Communications has had great success with Utility Forecast advance renewals that feature arguments between the editor and publisher (Roger Conrad and Walter Pearce) where they "fight" over the price (and the editor, who wants to hold prices down, wins). (A sample is posted at www.bly.com.)


4.      Look for and exploit a "twist." One investment letter did a reader survey that showed subscribers made surprisingly few and infrequent trades. A successful advance renewal "yelled" at readers for not taking advantage of opportunities and offered extra issues for early renewal to provide readers with a chance to get in on stocks they may have missed earlier.


5. Be straightforward - but quirky. Make the offer clear and sell it hard, but add a story or other element of intrigue to boost reader interest. Example: Growth Stock Winners offered an advance-renewal premium of stocks of greater than usual profit potential and risk - so aggressive that the publisher would not "allow" the editor to present them in regular issues!


Bob Bly, 22 E. Quackenbush Avenue, Dumont, NJ 07628 (201)385-1220 Fax:(201)385-1138