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well Publishing Co., Publishers of Farm and Fireside. ke stone trimmings, 200 x 75 feet. uit during the past year. FARM AND FIRESIDE is Iding and complete equipment, including many machines, electrotype foundry, ud art departments.
HE need for closer relationship between advertisers and publishers
was urged by M. Lee Stark at the last meeting of the Boston Space Club. One of the plans suggested was a tional federation to include the various local organizations that are found in the larger cities. In this way it was claimed a mutual understanding between publisher and advertiser could be had and buyer and seller would learn how dependent they are on each other. On this point Mr. Starke spoke as follows:
“The publisher, especially in view of the increased cost of productions and the reduced subscription price, is almost wholly dependent upon the advertiser for his profits. On the other hand, the space user is equally dependent upon the publisher. There can scarcely be conceived two elements in the business world that are so vital to each other's success. The bringing together of these two interests will, I am convinced, demonstrate to the publisher the necessity of his active coöperation in the advertiser's behalf, or, in other words, his making every dollar the advertiser puts in his publication a profitable investment.
“The publisher must realize that if the space he sells does not pay, the advertiser cannot afford to stay; that he must not keep raising rates simply because he thinks the advertiser will stand it, or because he needs more income, but he must keep the rates where his space can be used with profit; in other words, he must strive to give one dollar's worth of publicity for one dollar. He must gain the advertiser's confidence by telling what his actual circulation is, by having one rate and one condition for a certain service, the same to all, and under no circumstances vield to the temptation to accept business at cut rates. His self-respect demands this, and a publisher must respect himself if he expects others to respect him. "The way in which advertising has been developed can hardly be realized by the average publisher. It is estimated that during the past twelve months there was invested by shrewd business men in general publicity in this country alone over $100,000,000. I believe that if the figures could be ob
tained of the money spent in both local and general fields they would reach the enormous total of $500,000,000.
“On the other hand, the advertiser will realize from meeting the publisher and conferring with him, that the publisher has some rights that must be respected. He may possibly see that every advertiser cannot have extra position on the choicest news pages, surrounded by reading, at the run of paper rates. Or, as one Hoosier publisher used to put it, “an advertiser ought to realize that he cannot buy cream at the price of skimmed milk.", The advertiser will also learn that the publisher is under heavy expense-heavier than ever before. The cost of production is steadily increasing—the cost of labor, of paper and ink-and the lower selling price of the publication makes it absolutely necessary for the advertising rates to be increased in order to make the publication profitable. The advertiser will also realize that the publisher must make up his publication so as to please the subscriber, that by giving the readers the best service he can obtain their respect and confidence. The advertiser is as much the gainer by this in the long run as the publisher.
"Until a man has conducted an advertising campaign he can have no notion of the detail and difficulties that attend the most ordinary transactions between advertiser and publisher. Most of this business is transacted by correspondence, which, to say the least, is very unsatisfactory. The parties do not know one another personally and things go along at cross purposes, often ending in actual hostilities. Personal acquaintance of advertisers and publishers not only make this relation more congenial, but gives each the benefit of the other's experience and knowledge and fosters the toleration that one naturally has when he knows what difficulties the other man works under. The advertiser has knowledge that can't be put into correspondence, and so has the publisher. When they get together and talk on advertising, each learns something that neither knew before. They both realize that advertising is a great business and that the publication of a successful medium is a great commercial enterprise.”
The Truth About Circulation
F. A, SOUTHWICK
HERE is a good story told of an lishers or his representatives. Now in a ancient musician who continually campaign to increase circulation, of
harped on one string, and when course some special inducement is made criticised for the quality of his music
either by way of reduced price or some
valuable premium. Sometimes this inreplied that he knew it was monotonous,
crease can be secured by sheer hard work. but had the merit of attracting attention. This latter is especially true where a pubIn these later days we sometimes con lication has merit which needs only gratulate ourselves that we have hatched
proper presentation to interest and sea new breed of truth, but sooner or later
subscribers. Quite recently dot we find we have only discovered some counting contests have figured largely fact already known to some man or num and, no doubt, a tremendous increase in ber of men from the time "whereof the circulation has been secured by such mind of man runneth not to the con means. But is this circulation of such trary.” For some time I claimed the permanent character as to be valuable to originality of likening advertising to the advertiser at the increased rates the ancient musician in that attraction charged? At the outset of these camwas effected more by the quantity than paigns it is undoubtedly good policy to the quality, but in glancing over an old contract for space, but the ad man journal of the early days, I bumped should have means of knowing when the against the advice that
trial subscriptions expire and what per: vertiser “should have one story to tell centage is renewed. For it is easy to and tell it everywhere all the time." Pe see that a circulation of 100,000 may, culiar it is, too, how very sound such after the enthusiasm has waned, drop counsel is, and only goes to show that one-half or more, and the advertiser be truth is ever truth and never stale.
none the wiser, but continue to pay the So, also, in the matter of measuring
top price until oo late he finds he has circulation, and the true determination
been trying to win on a failure. of its value to the advertiser. For
There is among reputable publications tunately the “circulation liar” has been
a wholesome spirit of fair play, and when pretty well woeded out, but in his place
the large circulation is secured there is has grown up an equally obnoxious sur.
means used to maintain it. But the cessor, so that we cannot refrain from
world is not yet peopled with honest men occasionally harping on the string of
and until it is we must look sharp. honesty in circulation. The allvertisers
Postoffice receipts are absolutely valueare too ready to pull out the directory less unless of recent date and covering a and look at tho record when statements
goodly period. It is easy to mail a big of circulation are made by the solicitor,
edition for a few weeks, then run for and this is an effective check upon inflation in many cases. But circulation can
a while on the strength of the showing.
Mailing lists are of little value, because, not always be shown by the directory within close limits. The publishers are
like some town records, the dead and abtaking copious doses of their own pre
sent are always retained in the enumera
tion. Paper and ink bills are delusive. scription and pushing vigorously for increased production. Journals are
The frank word of the publisher of a solidating, new ones entering the field,
reputation for honesty is, after all, the and the ad man must be alert if he would
only test. Let us be thankful that most know when he is getting value for his
publishers have this reputation and those
who have it not would do well to join us money. Right here some one asks if re.
at once. turns are not a good test. Returns are like trying a dose of medicine on the dog.
The publisher may not actually misIt is too late when the dog is dead. The
represent his circulation, but he may, ad man should be able to tell whether a
sometimes, be reticent about giving some proposition is valuable to him before
facts in their simplicity. I recently rehe puts money into it, and after all is ceived a request for a portion of my adsaid I know of no way to be sure except
vertising from a publication right in the by a reliance on the statement of the pub
field that I want to reach; it is just the
kind of publication that I have used with
But when I wrote asking for' statement of circulation I received the reply that the paper “is read by upwards of 10,000 people every week.” Now, I contend that is an evasive answer, for no publisher knows how many people read his paper. If that publisher had been frank and stated that he had an actual circulation of 1,000 or 5,000 we would have done business, but the careful man will not take any such chances. That “upwards of 10,000" will pass in law as a mere "matter of opinion, upon which no action can be founded, and is too vague and uncertain to claim attention when there are so many reputable papers in the field whose publishers do not hesitate to tell the exact truth, even though they sometimes are pelled to admit a decrease.
Again, the publisher should not hesitate to tell just what the quality of his circulation is—what class of people are his readers. For it sometimes happens that papers with a large and increasing population are not profitable. What good would it do to advertise a line of fur coats in the paper that goes into every home in Florida. Too many advertisers have wasted money paying for a large percentage of circulation that was of no value to them. If publishers could devise some scheme whereby the charge would be based upon the actual percentage of their circulation that was valuable to the advertiser, they would take a long stride towards increasing the
value of their paper to some who now find it unprofitable. If an advertiser could utilize the entire edition, make him pay the flat rate. If only a quarter or half is useful to him, charge him accordingly. Or they might charge on the basis of returns. This is a bold proposition, but I have a reputation for such.
I believe that in general the publisher is anxious that his paper shall pay the advertiser, because, otherwise he cannot expect to hold him. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the purchaser of space should know exactly what he may expect, and if there is the least suspicion that it will not pay the publisher should be the first to point it out. He may lose an advertiser, but he will win a friend which may sometimes be of equal value. In the scramble to secure business some publishers may lose sight of the fact that not to everyone can they be of value, and find, later, that reports are rife that their paper is not a payer. To go a step further, I do not know any reason why publishers should not pick out their customers same as the advertiser picks out his papers—by the showing in the way of returns.
The true test, then, as to the value of circulation, is the statement of the publisher, backed up by his reputation for honesty and his watchfulness of the interests of his advertisers. It is becoming more and more important that he use extreme care to see that his record is such as will give the advertiser confidence and win his regard.
Following Up Inquiries
HE preliminary work has been done. received from a possible customer should
The newspaper ad has brought an be answering by sending a letter to him. inquiry. A circular or catalogue No objection to a form letter presents it
has been sent. What else needs be self, if the form letter can be made so done? Our catalogue is the best one as to cover all the necessary points. This ever printed concerning our particular should be a friendly but not too familiar kind of goods. Other dealers in the letter. It should be of an introductory same line have issued catalogues, but nature and open the way to further coi. they look like thirty cents compared with respondence. If a form letter is used, ours, although no doubt the firms send however, it should be so well printed that ing them out think them all right. Any it will not be detected. The writer favors man who gets our catalogue will see at a direct letter, written in the regular once that it is the best one ever sent out, way. This gives an opportunity to make and this will give him such a good opin it more individual, and if the correspondion of our goods that he will give us his ent is tactful and adapted to the work it ord
is a very effective way of following up This seems to be the line of reasoning inquiries. adopted by a great many advertisers. The next thing should be a booklet, They seem to forget that no two men see not too large to enclose in an ordinary the same thing exactly alike. They think envelope, and not heavy enough to rethey have gone to the limit in their cata quire additional postage. This should logue and their competitors may think be pointed, and drive home in a terse way the same thing. Who is going to judge the statements in the catalogue first between them? Just the man who hap sent, and should be accompanied by a pens to get a catalogue from two or more letter explaining that the booklet is sent firms competing in the same line.
for the additional information of the No one knows just how this man may recipient. This second letter may assume look at these catalogues. He may fancy a better acquaintance with the correthe one with the red-and-green cover or spondent and be couched in the one with the one-color, plain type friendly tone, but should never assume cover or the one made after a clay familiarity. Every man likes to be treatmodel. No one, not knowing the man, ed with respect, and a letter referring to can even guess which of two catalogues “your esteemed favor” always creates will make the strongest impression on a better impression than one that begins : the recipient. One man issues a very “I have your favor of the 'steenth inst." plain catalogue and makes merit of its Signing a letters :
yours very respectcheapness by saying he puts the money fully” does not require much more effort saved on the catalogue into his goods. than to curtly say, “Yours truly," and A number of firms that once did this it leaves a pleasant memory with the recomes to mind, and it is also remem cipient. bered that some of them who once boast In beginning a form letter it is much ed of the plainness and cheapness of better to begin “Mr. John Smith” than their catalogues now send out some very to simply write “John Smith.” After brilliant publications. There is a moral the second letter it does not do any harın to this, but it will not be sought out to begin “Dear Mr. Smith," and each at this time.
succeeding letter, while placing before Seeking the source of human impres the possible buyer arguments why he sions is not the object in writing this should buy of us, should never express article. The fact that such diverse im. any anxiety nor try to over-persuade. pressions as are above referred to may Try to make it appear that you are more be created is enough for our purpose. interested in getting him to buy the best Their existence being conceded, it is our article of the kind that is on the marpurpose to make some inquiry as to the ket than in selling yours to him simply course that we should pursue in order to because you make it. secure a better chance to finally secure Where a correspondence of this kind the order of the man who has angwered should end has never been decided. It our ad and has received our catalogue. is conceded that it is not well to let it
In the first place, every communication drop until a definite statement that an