What is Discover Magazine – in a nutshell?

Discover Magazine is a free, A5, full colour publication, letterbox delivered to 169,000 selected homes within a 22 mile radius of Southampton-Portsmouth. Its premise is to entertain, inform and connect readers with their local community and businesses. Discover is paid for by its advertising and leaflet distribution and owner managed by Melanie Tinson and Tania Houston from offices in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.

What is Discover Magazine – in a nutshell?

Discover Magazine is a free, A5, full colour publication, letterbox delivered to 153,000 selected homes within a 22 mile radius of Southampton. Its premise is to entertain, inform and connect readers with their local community and businesses. Discover is paid for by its advertising and leaflet distribution and owner managed by Melanie Tinson and Tania Houston from offices in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.

How long has Discover been published in the South Hampshire area?

The first issue was August 2005 in Chandlers Ford (under the name The Chandlers Ford Directory) with a circulation of just 4,000 homes.  Expansion into Southampton, Romsey, Winchester, Meon Valley, Eastleigh, New Forest increased the circulation to 145,000 by 2017.  The newest “children of the family”, Test Valley, Salisbury East Villages and Hamble Peninsula brings the circulation to its current 153,000 homes. All 100% letterbox delivered still

Where can I pick up a copy of Discover?

Discover is 100% letterbox delivered to the same homes regularly; this ensures the best possible response rate for our advertisers. Other magazines use distribution points for random passers by to pick up their copies which saves them a lot of money and effort but doesn’t ensure a particular target audience.

Who Gets Discover through their Letterbox?

In some areas, mostly suburban ones like Chandlers Ford, Southampton, Hedge End, Locks Heath, Fareham, Stubbington, Lee on Solent, Eastleigh, Waterside, Winchester and Romsey, distribution is focussed on selected streets with homes that have at least 3 bedrooms, a driveway and garden – valued from £350,000 upwards – owner occupied.  So the distribution is based on our selction criteria and we use our own team of 240 distributors to deliver Discover. The other areas, mostly rural or historically awkward to deliver to ourselves, but just as important are covered by Royal Mail so every home in these editions receive a copy; they are New Forest, Meon Valley, Test Valley (Stockbridge and surrounds), Hamble Peninsula and Salisbury East Villages.  Discover is the only magazine to offer such a good choice of areas, such a large circulation with one publisher and such a reliable and thorough distribution network. CLICK TO PAGE

Can I just advertise in one area?

Yes, of course. The total circulation of Discover Magazine is 153,000 which is split over 13 editions (areas).  You can advertise in one area, a selection or all of them. The more you choose, the higher the circulation and bigger discount off rate card prices.

What is the best discount you offer?

There are two discounts; one based on the number of editions booked and ranges from 5% to 30% and the other for how long you book for.  Our regular advertisers on an ongoing basis get 15% discount on top of the editions discount so the highest discount is 45% if you book all editions on an ongoing basis.  About 80% of our customers are on the ongoing rate to benefit from the best discount, free upgrade to premium positions, free editorial and free advert design.

Is Discover a monthly or bi-monthly magazine?

153,000 homes receive Discover every other month.  75,000 homes one month and 78,000 in the neighbouring side of the area the following month so over two months all 153,000 homes receive a copy.  And that is repeated 6 times a year. So if you advertise with us in all editions, 153,000 homes will see your advert 6 times with a delivery every month to one half or the other.  This is why we quote monthly and invoice monthly. 

What’s the smallest, cheapest advert available?

We understand the budget constraints of small businesses, especially start ups (we were one once!).  Like all printed media, advertising rates are based on size and so all customers are quoted the same; nationals, sole traders and retailers alike.  However, it’s important for our readers who use community magazines to find local services including the very niche that we have a few options at affordable rates only available to a limited type of advertiser.  One is a classified listing and the other a small landscape rectangular advert with no need for design.  Please ask if your business qualifies and the terms of this particular option. 

Can I pay cash?

No, sorry we don’t accept cash. We accept debit and credit cards for short term bookings. Regular, ongoing bookings are paid by direct debit.  For agency bookings we offer 30 days credit on proviso of receipt of a purchase order. 

What’s the shortest I can book for?

To reach the full circulation of an edition you usually need to book two consecutive issues (see FAQ: Is Discover a Monthly or Bi-monthly magazine?) so our minimum booking is two issues and bookings are in pairs of two month thereafter ie. 2, 4, 6 months.  Remember that if you book two months in one edition your advert will only be seen once by our readers and it’s proven that repetition – at least 3 hits – is key to successful long-term advertising. Short term advertising is not the way to test any form of print media. If you are unsure of what to expect from advertising we recommend you book 6 months (that’s 3 hits) to get the discount and free editorial and design.  If you really want to cancel before the 6 months is up you can but we recoup the discount and charge for the advert design retrospectively.  If you see your competitors advertising or others on an ongoing basis then it’s working for them as they’d cancel if it wasn’t! 

Will my advertising work?

Ah, the golden question and one we can’t definitively answer, only predict. Firstly, it’s important to be realistic about what you mean by “working”.  If you expect 100 phone calls from a small advert per month in the first month then no, it won’t work (unless you are selling 18ct gold bars for a fiver!). And your advert will be working in ways you don’t always “see” such as an increase in visits to your website or a rise in recommendations or more customers from sites like Checkatrade. The way to assess your advertising is how well your business is doing overall.  Most of our advertisers use other forms of promotion as well so it’s better to judge what your marketing budget is doing for you overall and don’t chop and change thinking it will improve in a month – it takes time to build a business and to get your marketing mix right.  There are other things that can affect your response rate that has nothing to do with the magazine itself; your advert design (although we will advise on improvements if we think you need them!), how you handle direct response (going to voicemail is a killer), the quality of your website (a must), a new competitor on your patch, the market in general etc.

Advertising in local magazines generates new local customers and this is the fresh blood that generates those lovely, “free” recommendations.

What size of advert is best for my business?

For an A5 publication, we offer the widest range of advert sizes compared with any other local magazine in the area. This is because you can find a size that is a) appropriate for your type of business and b) within your budget.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the product cost the bigger the advert.  If your customer is parting with thousands of pounds for a conservatory, they expect to see companies with at least a half page. Anything smaller and they may judge you negatively.  Similarly, if you are an electrician taking out a full page, you may be judged as too expensive simply because you’ve got too much money to spend on advertising! We will advise you on the best size for your business and honestly, biggest is not always best. 

Sometimes, it’s better to go one size down to stretch your budget to include more editions, increasing the potential number of new customers.

What free editorial can I get?

We guarantee free editorial to every advertiser who books for 6 months or 6 consecutive issues.  The free editorial is run at the end of your booking in months 5 and 6. You can write the editorial or we can write it for you and at least one image is included.  It’s usually positioned adjacent to your advert.

We don’t, or rarely, run free editorial on a business that isn’t advertising with us.  Discover is paid for by it’s advertisers and it’s not fair on our loyal, fee paying customers to give free editorial to non-advertisers.

How often can I change my advert?

Every time we go to print. We encourage you to keep your advert fresh and up to date so feel to ask for a change of picture, headline, special offer but we’d advise against a completely different style change too often as familiarity and recognition has a bearing on response rates.  We include free advert design for a 6 month booking with free amendments but if you want a new design, this is charged for.  Our design rates are very low though so don’t be put off making that change if it’s needed!

If you design my advert, do I own it?

Whatever we design, we own the copyright even if we use files like logos and images supplied by you.  It’s the way of the copyright laws.  If you want to use our design for marketing purposes you can but we charge a £45 release fee.  If the advert is being used for advertising purposes elsewhere we reserve the right to charge up to £175.