She established a thriving partnership program where there was none, and carried that success over to the online and gift business.
Stacey Stambleck joined New York late in 2004. Since then, she’s lit a fire under the magazine’s partnership programs, online sub efforts and gift-order business.
Granted, the magazine basically had no partnership program in place post-Primedia, so one could say that there was nowhere to go but up. However, consider that last year Stambleck’s partnership efforts brought in about 2,500 new subs and this year orders are expected to reach 20,000;a 700 percent increase, representing 10 percent of overall new business.
At New York, the partnership team is three people, including Stambleck, which she says results in a more constructive, personal relationship with partners. And due to the magazine’s regional focus, most of the partnerships are with local companies. "The right partnerships are the ones that see New York as a benefit," she says. "This is important and since we’re a smaller company, it’s more personal." Stambleck singles out gourmet gift basket builders Harry and David as her most successful partner so far. While an average partnership yields around 500 orders per month, a benchmark minimum for Stambleck, Harry and David has contributed 5-10 times that amount, and just during the holidays. A bonus was the discovery that 96 percent of the orders were unique subscribers. "It was obviously a select audience we weren’t getting through direct mail," she says.
Stambleck says she looks for partnerships that have a personal affinity. Beyond partnerships, savvy list selection and copious placement of mini sub forms on the Web site have driven orders up 15 percent.
Likewise, New York’s gift business, also under Stambleck’s watch, is up 50 percent. Creative now matches New York’s freshened up design. The overall strategy, however, is not a wholesale boost to ratebase, currently at 425,000. "Our sources are just becoming more profitable," Stambleck says.
VITAL STATS: Partnership orders will be up 700 percent in 2006;10 percent of overall new business. Online subs are up 15 percent year over year, and gift business is up 50 percent year over year.