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How To Determine When Placing An Advertisement In Magazines Pays

by Jan 15, 2020Main

It’s a fact that, for certain businesses, placing an advertisement in magazines can pay. Depending on your business niche and the circulation numbers of the particular magazine, this can be a smart move. Nationally circulated magazines can gain you attention from millions of magazine subscribers. While the cost of placing such advertisements in magazines can be significant, if you catch the eye of ten thousand subscribers who respond with inquiries, you can easily recoup the cost of the magazine ad ten times over. On the other hand, if your choice of publication is not well focused, your investment may be a total waste. When you contemplate placing an advertisement in magazines, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of cost versus your ROI.

The news industry is full of ideas when it comes to experimenting with new storytelling formats and techniques—podcasts, virtual reality, Instagram posts. The list is long, but storytelling across these media and platforms is something the journalism-adjacent advertising industry has been experimenting with for decades. 


Let’s say you have a website which focuses on gardening. A general, nationally distributed magazine, such as Ladies Home Journal, or Family Circle, may attract the attention of some subscribers. However, the cost of placing advertisements in magazines of this type are not likely to return sales that will pay for the ad. On the other hand, horticultural magazines, devoted to organic gardening, will not command ad prices that break your advertising budget, while grabbing the attention of many more readers. It all works out to percentages. A smaller circulation number does not necessarily mean fewer takers. Placing an advertisement in magazines which are working the same niche as you, are often far more economical on the up front cost, while bringing a far greater percentage of interested visitors to your site.

Perhaps you’re selling restaurant equipment. Placing an advertisement in magazines can bring good returns, so long as you focus on the right publications. In this scenario, look for trade publications, such as hospitality and culinary oriented magazines and newsletters. These advertisements are usually low cost and high on ROI. This is a good investment. You may even offer the publication a free feature article in exchange for a byline, thus saving any advertising costs, while attracting the attention of thousands of readers, people who will buy!

On the other hand, if you are selling a product or service that is best advertised on the net, an advertisement in magazines can be an absolute waste of money. You need to understand your market. For example, if you’re selling marketing, design, writing or programming services, it’s unlikely that advertising in magazines will serve your purpose. This type of advertising is just money down the drain.

When you choose to place an advertisement in magazines, be sure that the investment will pay you back in sales.