Wine Country Living Returns to Direct Mail

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

After a five-year hiatus, Wine Country Living began using direct mail again last month in a push to find new subscribers.

The campaign, backed by a $200,000 budget, is part of a broader effort to build circulation and exposure for this national lifestyle magazine with a West Coast regional focus.

A second batch of 500,000 postcards is planned for later this year. “I thought it was time to start a campaign to reach the masses,” said Carla Blanco, who was named the magazine’s first circulation director in May.

As part of the campaign, the firm dropped 200,000 four-color standard double postcards at the end of July. About 25% reached names from the house file, including inquirers, expires and others who attended wine shows but hadn’t subscribed. The remaining 75% were from outside lists.

List broker Kim Scott, from The List Group in Boulder, CO, recommended names from magazine and catalog files. The target: A 53-year-old with an annual household income of $265,100 and a net worth of $2.2 million.

The magazine, published six times per year, has grown its paid subscriber base from about 25,000 to 95,000, or 95% of total circulation, since May of last year. The title is also available at wineries, wine bars, hotels and events.

A new half-hour TV show based on editorial content debuted in January on the San Francisco Bay area NBC affiliate. Two 15-second DRTV spots during the 5 p.m. Saturday show promote subscriptions by driving customers to the Web site. Several hundred orders per month are generated from the show. “And pay-up is good,” Blanco noted.

The Web site ( was redesigned last fall to better reflect the magazine’s editorial design and content. “It wasn’t gracious like the magazine is,” she said.


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