Sunday, July 09, 2006

Professional vs. Consumer Magazines: A survey

Since I have been involved in moving my business and personal life from Fairfield, Iowa to Taos, New Mexico, I've had the opportunity to change mailing addresses for the 100+ magazines that I subscribe to each month. What a hassle!

The consumer magazines all have great web sites that make it fast and easy to change mailing addresses. I've been impressed by how easy most of them have been.

But, ouch, the trade magazines make it so difficult. In many cases, they have no online provision for changing addresses. So stupid -- especially when you consider that most of the professional magazines I subscribe to have to do with marketing, meetings, travel, or publishing. Gee, you would think they'd have figured out by now that they should make it easy to change addresses in a mobile society like ours.

But they haven't. In many cases, I've had to email them with the change. So archaic. In a number of cases, I had to email the editor because that was the only contact info they provided on their web site.

Even with the free magazines, I often had to resubscribe to keep getting the magazines I wanted -- but there was no provision to tell them to cancel the old address. Stupid.

Don't be stupid in creating your own online contact forms. Make it easy for people to change their addresses, email addresses, etc. Try to make it easy and automatic. Otherwise, you could lose a lot of customers simply because they have moved.
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