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Has anyone been featured in a National Newspaper?

If so, what was the response like

5:58 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

SO heres the story. We are based in the UK.

In a couple of weeks we are going to be featured in the Daily Mail's 'Weekend' magazine, which is included in the paper, and features various articles and a TV Guide. The Daily Mail is a highly regarded newspaper, and receives Readership of about 6.2 Million. They estimate that the Weekend Magazine is read by 4.2 Million of those people,a dn the page we are going to be featured on is the most popular page in the Magazine.

One of our products is going to be featured, which has been a popular product on the website since we put it on. It is also a good gift idea, and is very reasonably priced at 20 (they are also showing a competitors widget which is 48, the article shows that the widgets are similar, but that the cheaper item is just as good).

Anyway, has anyone had coverage in a magazine, as we are really not sure what kind of response we might get. We've ordered 200 widgets, and have another 500 put by for us, with no obligation on our part to buy. Is this too many, or not enough?

The lady I spoke to from the paper, said people have sold anything from 1000 to 20 000 widgets through being featured, but I don't know what to make of this. Incidentally, we are not paying to be featured, so I see know reason why she would lie to us.

Just after anybody's thoughts, or experiences, as we have never done anything like this before, and really don't know what to expect.


6:23 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I manage site who's owner is fairly regularly featured in various UK national newpapers, including the Mail. A different sort of thing though, as it is partly an information/community type site which also sells subscriptions to online content. The web address is always mentioned though, and quite often the site is given some prominence in the articles.

We generally expect traffic to increase by the order of about 20%-30% the day the article appears and about 10% the following day. After that the paper is wrapping chips and things are normal. Subscription sales rise by about 10% over normal.

I imagine your response may be quite a bit bigger given the nature of the item as you describe it and the time of year.

6:25 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We were featured in the Financial Times and also the Daily Express a few years ago. We sell ecommerce software (Actinic) and it's typically 300+ and we're obviously not in the consumer market, but I still thought that it was worth commenting.

We had around 200 leads from each article. That's people filling in all of their name, address and phone details in order to get more information. This was a major big result for us at the time.

Based on the larger circulation, the product that (presumably) is of more interest to a larger proportion of readers, I would think that the 1,000 to 20,000 estimate of sales is right.

If your description of the product and it's attraction is right, I think it's quite possible the sales will be at the higher end of the scale, but it's not me buying stock.


6:39 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies.

Our suppliers only have 1000 in stock, (as mentioned 700 are already ours if we need them).

Has anyone else on here had any 'Physical goods' featured in the newspapers?

Also when I said this;

Incidentally, we are not paying to be featured, so I see know reason why she would lie to us.

I meant I see no reason why she wouldn't give us figures that are as accurate as she could obtain. ('lie' is not the word I was looking for, just thought I would clarify)

7:18 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Best I can offer are the following experiences

About 10 years ago- pretty much pre-Internet, a computer cable show that reviewed software demoed some of ours. We were running a 16 line dial-up BBS system for orders at that time. Product cost $79.95 for the DOS and Windows version combo. Normal monthly sales were about 500 for this product, that month we did about 1,200 units. Most coming in the 10 days after the show.

Another example:
A few months later John Dvoriak a well read columnist for PC-Magazine who did two pages (78-79 I think) each month, devoted about 1/4 of a page to the same product. We did 5,000 units that month. We weren't ready for it. By the time we had manuals, boxes and disks manufactured, which ended up taking about 60 days something like 10-12 percent canceled.

The written review had a much longer shelf-life then the TV that splashed our name and phone number on the screen for 5-10 seconds. Thankfully we had an easy company name and one of the 1-800-buy-widget numbers.

There are a number of members on this forum who have had much more resent experiences but they may be at the conference.

Good luck

woops, I see a number did answer as I was writing this

7:36 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We had good, unexpected reviews in the Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Mirror, all about three years ago when we launched.

Each occasion was marked by a traffic increase of about 50% a daily taking spike of perhaps 50-100% of normal daily takings.

The following day was always about half as good again, and after that it dies to nothing.

12:30 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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a friend was in one UK newspaper, had a spike in sales, then the story got picked up by another newspaper and another and another ..... then radio and TV .......... spike after spike ........ good luck with it!
9:36 am on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It also depends on what sort of widget you're selling... if it's non-perishable and you expect to eventually sell all of them, I'd buy as many as you can get your hands on. All it's going to cost you is a bit (or a lot!) of cash upfront... you'll sell them all eventually anyway. OTOH, if the supplier is willing to hold them for you (and you trust them to be able to deliver) then rather let them take the risk.

I'd far rather err on the side of caution than be caught out if you get 1000's of orders.

As for number of sales... I like to think in percentages. Now obviously these are just thumb-suck figures, as I don't know what it is that you're selling:

4.2m readers... 50% actually read the page where your article is featured --> 2.1m actually reading.

Of that, 10% are slightly interested in your product --> 210k interested readers.

50% of them already have one --> 105k interested readers without a widget.

Only 50% of them are actually interested enough to buy one --> 53k wanting to buy.

50% of them run down to the store and pick one up --> 26k buy on the internet instead.

Between closing the newspaper and switching on the PC, 90% of people have a momentarily memory lapse and forget to purchase the product --> That still leaves you with 2600 very good sales leads.

Obviously this is all totally made up, but I find it helpful to think along these sort of lines.

1:54 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would imagine since the price point is at the impulse level (I would consider 20 quid to be impulse level), expect to sell 1000 items for sure.
2:10 pm on Nov 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>>>Has anyone else on here had any 'Physical goods' featured in the newspapers?

We do, on close to a weekly basis. We have had products featured in little local papers to national papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, plus we have had lots radio and television programs that had a little segment on our products. We also have someone on staff who appears on television shows for us.

Sometimes we get a great response, and sometimes next to nothing. I would caution you against purchasing a whole bunch of product. Do not buy anymore than you can sell normally over the next 6 months or a year in case it falls flat.

Do not over prepare!

Think about it, how many times have run out and bought something you just read about? I bet never.

3:36 pm on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think it depends how niche you are. Newspapers are not very targetted, i was listed in the Daily mail a few years ago and didnt notice any extra traffic. But thats because i sell a very niche product that isnt gonna appeal to 99.9% of the papers readers. A mention in a targetted magazine would proberbly be a lot more beneficial.
6:02 pm on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Whats the best way of getting into all these papers. i mean i sell into the adult market not pornographic but adult stuff only - could i get mentioned to and whats the best way to be seen guys? thanks