We had a call this morning from the group circulation manager at Mark Allen Publishing asking whether we had an independent body verify our mailout, and how many mags we send out.
We could have clammed up and said mind your own beeswax but were open and accountable so told MAP what we tell everybody: we have a circulation list of just under 2500 and can produce a monthly docket from the post office verfifying our mail-out.
What the circulation manager was digging for was an ABC figure (Audited Bureau of Circulation). Consumer mags use this to verify news-stand and subscription sales. Its probabe that MAP are going to go to the considerable expense of getting an ABC certificate to beat BikeBiz and BTI over the heads with.
Our riposte? Its quality, not quantity.
Our bang up-to-date mailing list carries no excess baggage. We cant afford to be profligate, every address is regularly checked for accuracy and having being in the bike mag editing game for nigh on ten years, we have a good database (so good the ACT and the BA always push address-seeking punters our way).
Madison sell to pretty much every IBD in the UK. They have 2000 IBDs on their books. Add on the number of suppliers and hangers on and you get to 2400+ addresses. The other mags claim mailing lists in excess of 4000. Who are they sending to?
We send multiple copies to bigger bike companies and also mail to bike shop staff at their home addresses.
If the other trade mags start saying their mailing lists are twice as good as ours because they mail to twice as many bods, well throw down a challenge: print your list or shut up!
Then we can see if there are any genuine differences between the mailing lists, or if theres an awful lot of duplicated addresses and mags falling on stony ground scenarios...