Why magazines should offer a private subscription option


I get countless letters in the mail asking me to subscribe to one magazine or another, usually at a big discount from the cover price. But my past experience makes me hesitant to subscribe to magazines anymore. You see, many of the publications I used to subscribe to decided to sell my contact info to other magazines and random companies, which greatly increased the amount of junk mail I receive.

With print publications scrambling for revenue, I’m sure I’m not the only customer who suffers from this problem. Basically, the industry has burned a whole segment of the market by sending unwanted letters and emails to subscribers, or selling their contact info.

Here’s an easy fix: magazines should introduce a new subscription option for a few dollars more per year. Call it something like a “private subscription”, and emphasize how the customer won’t receive any communications besides the magazine itself — and their contact info will never be sold or shared. Even if the magazine offering this option was never involved with those activities in the first place, I bet the private subscription option would encourage a certain segment of jaded ex-readers to give magazines another try.