How do I sell a subscription to Web Magazine

Subscription sales

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A subscription is a service that is regularly obtained for a fee. The subscriber, i.e. the person who receives the service, can, depending on the agreement, receive his subscription either for a certain period of time or until revoked, but usually secures price advantages through the subscription.

Subscriptions are possible and common for various services, for example as a theater or concert subscription, in connection with pay TV, as a season ticket for public transport or as regular information via e-mail, SMS or newsletter.

Typically, however, the term subscription is primarily associated with newspapers and magazines.

Subscription sales

For subscription sales, legal provisions apply in Germany that are defined in Section 309 of the German Civil Code (BGB). According to this, subscription contracts may be concluded for a maximum term of 24 months and if the contracts are tacitly extended, the term of the extension may not exceed 12 months. The notice period may not be longer than three months.

Subscription sales are very beneficial for companies because the subscriptions ensure continuous sales and corresponding customer loyalty. For this reason, companies also advertise subscriptions as services that are convenient for the customer and secure price advantages. In addition, bonuses are often offered that are intended to have a positive influence on the decision for a subscription.

Concept and strategy of subscription sales for newspapers and magazines

It is usually cheaper to purchase a magazine or newspaper by subscription than buying it individually, and the subscriber also benefits from regular delivery. The subscription offers numerous advantages for the publisher who sells the newspaper.

A subscription not only intensifies customer loyalty, but also secures sales for the publisher and reduces the sales risk and, at the same time, the number of returns. In addition to the simpler determination of circulation, the publisher also benefits from continuous sales that it can plan and plan accordingly. Due to the reliably calculable number of buyers for the respective editions, subscriptions form an essential part of the financial basis.

Instructions for subscription sales

The concept for subscription sales can be based on both direct and indirect sales channels:

  • In the case of direct sales, the publisher markets the newspapers or magazines itself, so the contract is concluded directly between the publisher and the subscriber. The subscriptions can be offered, for example, on the publisher's website or in the form of advertisements with response options in the respective newspaper or magazine.
  • If the strategy is based on indirect sales, sales are made through the advertising book and magazine trade, WBZ for short. Representatives obtain the products on offer from the publisher and then resell the subscriptions to interested customers. In the past, the subscriptions were almost exclusively offered in the form of door-to-door sales, but now they are also sold via other sales channels such as telephone sales, websites or advertisements in print media.
  • Nevertheless, the sales figures are falling sharply, which is mainly due to the rather negative reputation of the representatives. The term pusher has established itself in the vernacular and reports on dubious methods have massively damaged the industry. For this reason, the WBZ has now joined forces with the Association of German Magazine Publishers to form the Subscriber Advertising Working Group and is now called the Federal Association of Media and Service Dealers. The reorganization pursues two main purposes. On the one hand, this form of distribution should be secured taking into account the current market requirements; on the other hand, a high quality subscription sales should counteract unclean methods.

Another variant of subscription sales

In addition to publishing sales and indirect subscription sales, there is also the Reading circle a third variant of subscription sales. Here, customers do not buy the newspapers and magazines, but rent reading folders that have been put together according to their wishes.

The instructions for the reading circle are designed in such a way that independent reading circle companies purchase the magazines directly from the publishers, combine several magazine titles in folders according to customer requirements and then usually rent out these folders on a weekly basis.

The costs for the portfolios are based on the titles they contain, their number and how up-to-date they are. Usually, the booklets are rented out several times, an average of three times. As a further source of income, the reading circle providers market the areas on the folders as advertising space.

For the customer, reading circles have the advantage that renting newspapers and magazines is cheaper than buying them, and print products that are no longer up-to-date do not have to be disposed of. The publisher benefits from a fixed purchase with no risk of return and from a wider range of publications. This results from the fact that reading folders are available in doctors' offices and hairdressing salons, for example, and are accordingly used by many very different readers.

Further instructions and templates for sales processes:

  • Trade distribution
  • External sales
  • Partner sales
  • Sales outsourcing
  • Direct sales
  • Topic: Subscription sales

    Internet media owner Ferya Gülcan
    Isabella Dorant, 48 years old, sales manager, Christian Kazinski, 42 years old, sales representative and Martin Pocher, 39 years old, sales consultant in the field service, as well as Ferya Gülcan editor and operator of this site, write useful information, instructions and advice on the subject of sales, marketing and marketing .