Sunday, December 2, 2007

Marketing's Role in Subscription Renewals

I recently decided not to renew my subscription to Print magazine. The decision had nothing to do with the magazine (it's a great magazine), it was because it wasn't relevant to my current position. It would arrive in the mail, I would put it on the stack with my other unread magazines and it would just sit there, month after month. So when the barrage of renewal letters started arriving I ignored them, when the first phone call came I ignored it, the second call I told the representative I didn't want to renew, the third phone call my husband told the representative I didn't want to renew and finally on the fourth phone call Print magazine finally decided to believe me - I would indeed not be renewing. 

If marketing was involved would I have received countless letters (maybe) and four phone calls (I hope not)? I wonder if this tactic is part of Print's customer retention strategy. And if it is, where was the marketing department in creating the strategy? Surely even the most novice marketer knows that phone calls are intrusive and it's wise not to make too many unwelcome ones. It's my hope that the marketing department was not involved (though shame on them if they're letting other departments create customer retention programs) and maybe, with enough complaints, they'll quickly take control and craft a better strategy. One that rewards loyal subscribers with more tools and better content and one that realizes that Print magazine just  isn't relevant to everyone. 

Valerie Conyngham

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