May Debut for Prewar Auto Notes

Prewar Auto Notes
Prewar Auto Notes premiers in May aimed at collectors of pre WWII vehicles. The new title comes to the market courtesy of founding publisher Keith Mathiowetz, former editor of Old Cars Weekly.

Keith is a regarded automotive journalist and passionate enthusiast of prewar vehicles. He describes his new publication in similar fashion:

“This has been a dream of mine for several years,” said Mathiowetz. “I grew up surrounded by antique cars that featured wood-spoked wheels, open radiators, and running boards. Cars and trucks built before World War II hold a very special place in the collector-car hobby, and I wanted to publish a magazine for hobbyists, collectors, and enthusiasts who are as passionate about these cars as I am!”

The mostly black-and-white, 32-40-page publication contains news, letters to the editor, an editorial, vintage advertising containing prewar cars, subscriber-submitted photos of their vehicles, junkyard/abandoned auto photos, coverage of events that include prewar cars, technical articles, and a variety of feature stories showcasing all types of prewar vehicles from the dawn of the automobile to the early 1940s. From Auburns to Studebakers, Model Ts to Plymouths, Duesenbergs to Chevrolets, Packards to Dodges, Prewar Auto Notes brings fans of prewar cars entertaining information about their favorite vintage vehicles.

Launch marketing for PAN consists of a free premier issue mailed to 8,500 target subscribers. Subsequent efforts will comprise space ads in newsletters for national clubs, onsite show promotions, postcard direct mailings, and subscription sales via online auctions. A website is set to launch in six months. No newsstand presence is planned.

Prewar Auto Notes aims for a target paid circulation of 5,000 by 2010.

The new title embodies newsletter economics with a premium sub price, high concentration of editorial content, and unpretentious production values. It will face competition from the CCCA’s Bulletin and Classic Car and AACA’s Antique Automobile along with the usual online alternatives. The market for the magazine’s subject matter is narrow but highly active.

The launch would benefit from more assertive marketing including direct-mail and various high-impact response cards. Sample-issue mailings are costly and rarely convey the excitement and call to action of a shrewdly-crafted DM piece.  Yields from the premier issue mailing will also be impacted by limited payment options (check and money orders only at this juncture). An available website with credit card and PayPal processing would greatly improve response. When coupled with an attractive rate reduction, “Become A Charter Subscriber” is a powerful selling proposition that Prewar Auto Notes might consider in future marketing efforts.

Popularity: 6% [?]


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There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. I must be on Keith’s mailing list and just got the complimentary first issue. I’m into these cars particularly Packards and like his coverage. $40 is too much and I’m not sure there’s enough of a market for the magazine in its present format. Maybe this is a labor of love and more power to him.

  2. Compiled lists of the type this fellow is using typically do not generate very good returns. We’ve tested a number of lists sources including book buyers and paid sub prospects always win out. My advice to the founder–rent premium sub lists in target market to quickly realize publishing efficiencies and dollars.

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