FT tests courier delivery to steal march on rivals

The Financial Times is planning to deliver copies of the paper by courier to selected readers in an attempt to reach potential readers before its rivals.

The paper will launch a pilot delivery scheme in the M25 area before the end of the year. The target readership will receive its copies by courier, with a guaranteed delivery time for no additional cost. The paper is choosing selected readers from its database, which it has built over a number of years.

If successful, it is thought the scheme, put together by the FT’s direct marketing agency Marketing Principles Direct, will be rolled out nationally.

The move marks the paper’s reaction to the national subscription programmes of The Times and The Daily Telegraph. However, unlike its competitors, the FT’s offer is based on service – delivery time – rather than price.

The Network press and radio buying director Paul Mukherjee says: “It guarantees that the FT would be the first paper to get into the hands of senior businessmen in the morning.”

He adds that the paper would also be reaching the people surveyed by the British Business Survey.

This year’s BBS showed that more senior business people read The Daily Telegraph than the FT (MW September 4).

It is understood the FT may extend the offer to include other Pearson-owned publications, such as Investors Chronicle.

The Daily Telegraph’s subscription offer cost parent company Hollinger International 19.9m last year because of mistargeting (MW May 1): it gave existing readers cheaper copies of the paper through subscription sales but only managed to attract a limited amount of new readers.

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