Direct marketing
A Reader's Digest case study

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Page 6: Conclusion

Wherever Reader’s Digest magazine is published, it has the same values and dedication to editorial excellence, providing high standards for readers by condensing articles which appeal to their hearts and minds. The magazine covers every type of scenario in a way which readers can readily understand. Technical issues are dealt with in a simple and clear way. Though the magazine is largely topical and adds value to Reader’s understanding of current issues, its articles have a lasting interest which are worth keeping and reading again at some time in the future.

Though the articles in each magazine differ, there are a number of common ingredients:
FACTS - Digest articles are definitive. They include, somewhere in the text, every fact that readers need to know, and why.
ANECDOTES - Readers are not simply told the facts, they are shown them, through anecdotes and examples. Reader’s Digest authors have an expertise in story-telling and the printed pages are as visual as a television screen.
DETAIL - Articles are pared to the minimum, but retain enough detail to provide the reader with a clear picture.
THRUST - A Digest article sticks to the point. From the start readers know exactly what it is about. Straight away they:

  • meet the character
  • hear the music
  • see the place
  • understand the terminology
  • catch the enthusiasm.

STYLE - Whether articles are explaining a complex industrial process, a knotty political controversy or a rescue at sea, they do it in everyday language with clarity and brevity.
ACCURACY - Reader’s Digest articles obtain their facts from a wide range of the highest and most knowledgeable sources available. The Digest has an enviable reputation to protect - “It must be true. It says so in Reader’s Digest.”

Developing the creative parts of a product which has constant appeal for a mass market, where standards and expectations are high, is not an easy process. It can take three or four months to write and develop an article and even longer to check that the facts are correct. Each Digest provides a mix of articles with no repeats, which help to create positive perceptions and do not leave the reader helpless. The Digest communicates stories that are uplifting and optimistic, but without a political message, with a conversational and informational style in articles of real interest for all groups of people who enjoy reading.

Reader’s Digest is a remarkable story of the development of a magazine to become a world leader. Its success in marketing products has led to many more business opportunities in books, tapes, CDs and videos, special interest magazines and many other areas, becoming a publishing phenomenon delivering products to consumers across the globe.

Reader's Digest | Direct marketing