Last week I got a nice letter from their publishe, a gentleman called Andy Bush. He begins with a sense of urgency:
I have just been informed by our circulation department that your Time subscription is now up for renewal.
Well, credit to him for acting immediately, he must be concerned. No time wasted there.
Let me be frank with you.
Oh, this sounds serious. OK, I’m ready, I can take it.
As a publisher, I believe a magazine is only as good as the readers it attracts.
Hang on, Andy. I would have thought the number of readers it attracts depends on how good it is. But then there’s Hello. Maybe Andy’s right. What is he leading up to?
It is important to me that we maintain the readership of leading influentials such as yourself.
Recognition at last! On Saturday I was introduced as luminary of the Edinburgh songwriter scene (meaning up to 18 people know my name); sometimes I’m described as a legend of the same scene (meaning I’m over 30. Well over 30.). But a leading influential – now that is flattery, and most welcome.
So I have authorised our business office (Andy has personally authorised them) to extend your subscription for as little as £0.40 per issue. (as little as? so not actually 40p but something equally, er, little?)
That’s a savings (sic) of up to 86% off our cover price – our Best Value option as indicated on your Subscription Services form
… which I always keep on my person.
And so it goes on, regaling me with free gifts ( sorry MYSTERY GIFT FREE) and the assurance of how their coverage of current affairs will be an invaluable business tool, and will tell me what effect the goings on in the world will have on my bottom line. Yes, the old bottom line cliche.
Is this effective marketing? If I tell myself that anyone who writes such an entertaining letter deserves my custom, and it doesn’t cost much, and I quite like it, and I still wear the watch – well, yes. I hope it entertains you too, and that I influence you. You can of course buy my albums on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.