Large Consumer Publication Finds Extreme Value in Lorton Data Services

Whether or not you’re an avid video gamer, you’ve likely seen an issue of Game Informer magazine or know one of their enthusiasts.  With nearly 6 million paid subscribers, the magazine has grown to become the fourth largest consumer publication in the U.S.

Managing Game Informer’s mailing list of subscribers was more complicated than expected early on, especially after they were acquired by retailer GameStop in 2001 as part of the Funcoland aquisition. “We were faced with different lists from the two companies,” recalls Paul Hedgpeth, Audience Development Manager at Game Informer. “Managing the lists, keeping the addresses up to date and preparing them for mailing became increasingly difficult,” continues Paul.

Staff members at GameStop were familiar with Lorton Data, since they had used the company’s data conversion services.  After some investigation they realized that Lorton Data could also help with the list management needs of the combined companies.  “One thing led to another, and we were introduced to Lorton Data’s address hygiene services,” states Paul.

Lorton Data stepped in with NCOALink® processing and Presort services to help Game Informer reduce their mailing costs.  Today Lorton Data, updates almost 80,000 records each month with subscriber change-of-address information.  Additionally, thousands of likely undeliverable addresses are suppressed, further saving Game Informer on printing and postage costs.

Lorton Data added Full Service ACS™ to Game Informer’s processing to provide an additional level of address update information. ACS is a USPS® post-mailing service that allows mailers to electronically receive change-of-address and other reasons for non-delivery, reducing the number of hardcopy address change notifications. Each month Lorton Data updates approximately 1,500–2,000 addresses with subscriber move information through the ACS process. “This not only saves us a lot of time, it makes our list management so much more efficient,” says Paul.

“What I appreciate most about Lorton Data is that they are proactive in letting me know of upcoming changes or services that would be of value to me,” continues Paul. “Unless someone is intimately involved with the USPS, it’s hard to realize the impact of postal changes ahead of time.  Lorton Data calls to tell me how I can save money.” For example, Lorton Data started incorporating the Full Service IM barcode once that became available, reducing Game Informer’s postage costs by about $6,000 month.

Lorton Data also provides Game Informer with enhanced data analytics. The company is required to report subscriber information to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).  Data on distribution numbers per month, 12 month vs. 24 month subscriber counts, and issues distributed per mailing cycle is collected, analyzed, formatted and reported by Lorton Data for both the USPS, ZIP™ and ABC’s auditing purposes.

“Working with Lorton Data on our various programs is refreshing,” summarizes Paul. “They always have the best interest of their customers in mind.  The extreme value they provide for us is what we appreciate most in the partnership.”