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Smart Marketers Rediscover Print

BY: Diane Dicostanzo

Agile marketers are quick to deploy content to emerging channels, so their brands will be discoverable and top-of-mind wherever consumers go to look for solutions and answers.

But sometimes a “new” channel is actually an old one, used in an innovative way. Case in point: the print magazine. Since April 2020, Foundry 360 has launched two new Dotdash Meredith magazines, Millie and Paw Print, conceived first and foremost to align with readers’ passions and needs — as every media brand must. But each program was also designed to launch with an exclusive sponsor who was looking to connect with the magazine’s audience and, importantly, whose corporate mission aligned with the media brand’s mission.

Why print — and why now?

Good questions, given that printing and postage are expensive. But the truth is, direct mail is still an extremely effective channel, given its response rates are up to 9% higher[1] than any other advertising channel. Additionally, according to the USPS Office of the Inspector General, the volume of direct mail has dropped by nearly 25% since reaching a peak in 2006. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, direct mail volumes have decreased a further 18%.[2] While some of this volume will no doubt return, the reduction in overall quantity means the mailbox is far less cluttered than it has ever been, making it much easier for well-produced marketing delivered that way to get noticed by its intended target.

And an immersive and well-produced editorial magazine will always be considered far more valuable than a brochure, say. We emphasize editorial because Millie and Paw Print are both journalistic products, produced free of influence from advertisers or sponsors. That said, there are myriad benefits to their sponsors, starting with 100% share of voice in terms of ads placed in the quarterly magazines. The sponsors also benefit from the highly targeted database of magazine recipients, resulting in a kind of no-waste distribution strategy that’s just not possible online.

Read on to learn more…


Launched: April 2020; Exclusive Launch Sponsor: Synchrony Bank

Program Mission: To serve women with the information they need across all aspects of money — making it, saving it, investing it, spending it, giving it and talking about it.

Distribution: Published quarterly, Millie “rides along” in a polybag to 1 million subscribers of Real Simple, a Dotdash Meredith brand whose audience represents the very women the sponsor was eager to engage. Millie also publishes the weekly e-newsletter Millie Mail, as well as to social channels.

The Millie Story: In 2019, Foundry 360 recognized three key trends related to women and money: there is extremely little professionally produced content about money written specifically for women[3]; women report feeling less than confident about their ability to manage their money [4]; and an unprecedented transfer of wealth is underway—with women projected to control 66% of our nation’s wealth by the year 2030[5].

“Millie allows Synchrony to delivery on a core brand value of promoting financial education for underserved audiences, while also delivering real business results for the organization,” says Associate Publisher Paschal Fowlkes.

Paw Print

Launched: June 2021; Exclusive Launch Sponsor: Mars Petcare

Program Mission: With trusted information and joyful inspiration, Paw Print celebrates every aspect of pet parenting, helping people give their pets their best lives.

Distribution: Published quarterly, Paw Print is sent to 1.25 million homes whose owners have both dogs and cats. From its very first issue, Paw Print had the largest circulation of any pet-related magazine.

The Paw Print Story: In 2020, Dotdash Meredith launched, a website publishing daily content for dog and cat lovers, sponsored by Mars Petcare. Given its success — now attracts 5.7 million unique monthly visitors — it just made sense to explore a print spin-off for this content-hungry audience. Paw Print was designed to provide a premium “lean-back” content experience and — for its sponsor — a hyper-targeted way to reach dog and cat owners. 


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