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Old July 31, 2001, 02:46 PM   #1
Rich Lucibella
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S.W.A.T. Magazine- Update

The secure order form for S.W.A.T. Magazine is now in place. For those of you who do not know about our purchase of this publication, see the Announcements at the top of any Forum.

We had really hoped to boost the magazine's subscription base by offering a special price to TFL'rs thru August 15. This far, we've received 70 internet orders and 11 mail-ins taking advantage of the offer. This is hardly a record breaker, given 10,000 plus Members here and the frequency we're asked what can be done to support our efforts. Subscriptions thru normal channels at the higher price, far outstrip these numbers.

My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher?

Seriously, your honest input and would be most helpful.
Rich Lucibella
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Old July 31, 2001, 02:56 PM   #2
Correia
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Just subscribed Rich. I was just procrastinating. Though I did purchase the last issue from the store. Thanks for the reminder. And keep up the great work.

-Larry Correia
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Old July 31, 2001, 03:53 PM   #3
Nightcrawler
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Just subscribed

Saw an issue in a local bookstore. You ought to put a link to The Firing Line in the magazine, I didn't see one. It could boost our membership.

Looking forward to getting the magazine, Rich. If you ever need someone to write an article, you know where to look. I'll do it for free! (Actually, I *would* do it for free, just to be able to show my friends a published magazine article which I wrote!)
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Old July 31, 2001, 04:19 PM   #4
Mark Jones
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Quote:
My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher?
I don't know anything about SWAT magazine. I _do_ know that I am mortally offended by the existence of another gun mag called (I think) Weapons & Tactics For Law Enforcement, which has articles and features about all the wonderful weapons and tools that we mere peons need not ever think _we_ should own. And it will be a cold day in hell before that magazine ever gets a cent from me.

SWAT is not that magazine. Or at least I assume it isn't. But the name is close enough that it rubs me the wrong way anyhow. Is that rational? I suppose not. But it's how I feel.

Besides...I don't subscribe to any magazines. I buy individual issues at the newsstand when they catch my eye.
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Old July 31, 2001, 05:09 PM   #5
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Nightcrawler--

Check top center of EVERY TFL page, where the little site list is.

Good thing it wasn't a snake!

--L.P.
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Old July 31, 2001, 05:23 PM   #6
Rainbow Six
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Long Path,

Not being a smart arse or anything, but if you re-read nightcrawler's post you'll see that he is suggesting that a link to TFL be put in the magazine, not a link to the magazine being put on TFL.

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Old July 31, 2001, 05:30 PM   #7
Byron Quick
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Well, Rich, so far about 65 people have viewed this thread and didn't even bother to respond to your query. I'd be willing to lay money on a large percentage of the TFL subscriptions being from TFL moderators. So far subscriptions are below 0.7% of TFL's members.

I posted this thread on 7/12/01 http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...threadid=73011

40 members viewed it. No one responded. Sad.
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Old July 31, 2001, 05:51 PM   #8
bruels
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I'm still thinking about it. Earlier this year I had to come up with $2,000 for taxes in April. As a result, I let all of my subscriptions lapse, SWAT included, and curtailed my purchases of "toys."

I sympathize with Mark Jones in that I do not like buying magazines filled with stories on guns and accessories we peons in the PDRK cannot own.
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Old July 31, 2001, 07:15 PM   #9
Spectre
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I do understand frustration when one reads about tools our government has not granted us the priviledge to own. Two years ago, I had a conversation with a gentleman in law enforcement- a kind, gracious, and knowledgeable man, who is now a moderator here- in which he expressed his sadness that the government has mandated a schism between what he and I may lawfully own.

I see Rich's purchase of SWAT as a move that will help to remove the artifical divide between all of the solid, gun-owning, contributing members of our society with US peace officers. We want and need the law enforcement community to be on our side, if our struggle to keep and bear arms lawfully is to succeed. Rich has put his money where his mouth is with this purchase.

I hope the rest of us can do the same.
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Old July 31, 2001, 07:22 PM   #10
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I just subscribed

The only reason I hesitated was that I thought S.W.A.T. was primarily for LEO's. It looks like it's going to be quite a bit broader than this, though. As a new subscriber, these are the features I'd like to see in the ideal gun mag:

-*REAL* reviews that put the firearm through the paces, smack it around a little and give it a thumbs down if it comes up wanting.

-Tricks of the trade from the grizzled veterans.

-A useful legal column by a lawyer addressing such topics as insurance, civil liability, criminal liability, federal and state firearms law, etc. There's a great deal of dangerous misinformation and myth in the shooting world about the law. Not that I'm volunteering to do this or anything ;-)

-Also, I wouldn't mind seeing some of the classic TFL posts or other items from the net printed up. The TFL/SWAT project seems like a great way to bring the worlds of print and net together.

-"Lost art of shooting" features, addressing some of the old ways that we youngsters may have forgotten. The "torch" isn't always getting passed like it used to, after all.
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Old July 31, 2001, 07:51 PM   #11
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I agree

...don't just focus it on law enforcement. That would get old REAL fast. Give real world tests to handguns, shotguns, long guns, and give honest reviews.

Also, how about articles discussing the "tactical" utility of a gun that wasn't designed for that? Many here on TFL have discussed the defensive uses of the lever rifle, the single-action revolver, etc. You get the idea.

The Lawdog Files.

Darwin Awards.

Make the magazine informative, but also fun and entertaining to read.

Just a few ideas.
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Old July 31, 2001, 08:37 PM   #12
Jody Hudson
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Please don't despair... Just keep on doing what you are doing...

I do a LOT of Net marketing. That IS what I do. I have only been doing it professionally for six months. Before that I studied and apprenticed in Web marketing for two years. I have been do professional bulk marketing via phone, fliers, bulk mail, magazines, billboards, newspapers, radio, TV and now the Net for just over 30 years and I don't have it all figured out. I’ve taught the subject and spent many thousands of dollars to have others teach me.

Marketing here on the Net has several things similar to other bulk marketing including bulk mail; that is that it takes unbelievable numbers of people seeing the ad to get a single response; and that it takes numerous and continuous mailings to get responses from folks who thought about it 37 times before they did anything.

Phew, can you imagine billboards? Twenty thousand people a day go by some of my billboards and I get three or four calls a year from them. None of them that called, in ten years, ever bought anything. Now I just rent the billboards out to others.

Magazine ads, for instance, will seldom do much per dollar spent as far as a direct result. I've run full page info ads in fairly large specialty magazines and gotten less than one response per 10,000 circulation.

The Net is far better than any other marketing I've ever done as far as response per dollar spent. But it takes a LOT of time and the response per numbers of people reached is small. My first suggestion is to get the membership of TFL up to several times what it is now. Work a circular promotion of TFL promoting SWAT as you are doing and also promote TFL in the SWAT magazine as suggested above.

It is good that you are doing a real life marketing quest – here with your request for our responses. Just keep up the good work. You are doing less than you expected. I understand that. But, you are doing great compared to most of the rest of us.

The percentages for Net marketing, as you probably know, are very low, far lower than bulk mail, for instance. A great % in bulk mail is a .5% response (1 person in two hundred). In Net marketing a GREAT response is .1% or (1 person responding in one thousand readers).

Actually your response to your magazine subscription promotion on TFL -- is GREAT in my opinion, for the short time you've offered the subscription.

There is another great hurdle for now, in Net marketing. The Net has been FREE, free for everyone for almost anything. People who get things for free have a hard time buying anything similar.

Don't dare try it, but IF you were to charge $20 a year or some such for TFL, you'd likely get a CRASH in membership. Just keep up the good work! Keep on reminding us to subscribe to SWAT and give us some teasers. For instance run the articles a few weeks later here on TFL or on a related Web site. Those who subscribe will get the articles earlier and start to discus them while telling those who have not subscribed to "eat your hearts out".

The tried and true method of Net marketing is to give teasers and partial content, or the same content released later, of your magazine here on-line. Forbes is probably doing it the best. And they have a constant enticement to get a free copy of the MAG and they get your e-mail address when you ask for that free copy.

It's been a while; but the last time I spoke with Steve Forbes, he said that his on-line magazine presence was a HUGE success marketing wise... I hope that is still true. It probably is as it's still up there. http://www.Forbes.com and the on-line content grows by the week! The nice thing about Web marketing is that what you print is not wrapped around fish the next day.

I no longer do print ads. I do bulk mail BUT only to get people onto my web sites. Yes, the Net is very time consuming and expensive. There is no free ride for those of us who provide the "free" content. However, look how much a newspaper ad costs and then it's covered in coffee grounds, lying in the trash a few hours later -- while the Web page is still up and working.

Good luck!

By the way!

I AM one of the cheapskates myself. I don't subscribe to anything. However I do help with the marketing of a local book store and coffee shop. Once I've gotten a chance to see the new mag, I'll likely ask that they carry the magazine in the store. Currently they carry Guns and Ammo alone.

You've done a fabulous job of marketing this on-line TFL Forum. It's obviously valuable to all of us. Look at how much TIME we invest here. However, based on the fact that folks have an option to pay a couple of dollars a month for some of my sites and most don't -- most people don't want to pay for information on the Web.

I know I’ve rambled on even more than usual. I just don’t want to read any despair in your writing. I don’t want to take the time to edit this LONG post right now. BUT, I Hope this helps. AND… Keep on Keepin ON.

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Old July 31, 2001, 09:31 PM   #13
Rich Lucibella
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Thanks all. And thanks for the subscriptions that just came into the server. I wasn't whining....honest. We purchased S.W.A.T. because we think it can make a difference, not because we hope to foist it on TFL'rs. So far we've no complaints.

I'm just curious as to individual images of the mag and some of the comments here help....keep 'em coming. One thing I can see is there are some real misconceptions that come with the title. Yes, S.W.A.T. has it's share of Mil and LE articles, but that's hardly the meat of it.....look at July's columns on the website:
- Two Man Team Tactics
- Take comntrol of the night
- Kimber Ultra Carry (an honest review)
- Training, winning and motivation
- Taurus PT 100
- IDPA's new backup Gun Division
- Dehydration: the silent killer
- Mad Dog Gun Grips
- Louis Awerbuck's Training and Tactics
- Uberti's 1873 Colt Style SAA Revolver

Hardly a cop only publication. Lever action rifles? These are commonly found in Denny's SWAT-LIte Column.

Next issue, Clint Smith joins the Staff with his own column....Clint's one of the premier trainers in the nation and hardly focuses on LE.

GRH-
You want a column from an attorney? We contracted for it two weeks ago. Focus will be on the threats to firearms freedoms for all gun owners and the conflict between supporting LEO's with appropriate legal tools and protecting the Bill of Rights.

I'm not purely defending the mag here, but I need to figure how we overcome the perception problem that it's an LEO mag.
Rich
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Old July 31, 2001, 10:34 PM   #14
Byron Quick
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TFL members who are also regulars on other boards could talk it up as well as posting links to the SWAT website. Word of mouth about the magazine's new ownership and direction on the other forums might help.
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Old July 31, 2001, 11:11 PM   #15
Denny Hansen
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As the editor for S.W.A.T. for almost 15 years I really appreciate the feedback coming in. I truly do. One thing I will guarantee, S.W.A.T. will never become a member of the "new-gun-of-the-month club." I have "slam-dunked" numerous firearms over the years, and have lost advertisers and potential advertisers as a result. The most recent was the Standard Arms of Nevada SA-9: it simply was not reliable enough to recommend as a defensive arm and I said so in print. In a coming issue we test the Para-Ordnance LDA with 5,000 rounds of ammo, over twenty shooters and 30 plus magazines, keeping it running until it was too hot to hold. The solution? Dunking it in water and continue testing. Plans for a Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge includes plans to shoot through dry-wall mockups and light cover/concealment to either confirm or disalloy the common notion that shooting bird shot is a good idea for home-defense because of perceived "over-penetration."

I'm not pimping for the magazine, but I assure you it is not or will not be the run of the mill gunzine.
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Old July 31, 2001, 11:23 PM   #16
Nightcrawler
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As long as SWAT magazine is owned by Rich, it will have me as a member. TFL has been an irreplacable resource for me, I've learned a lot, made friends (including one of the best friends I've ever had), and have had a place to both shoot my mouth off and learn from people with decades more experience than I.

I owe it to TFL to subscribe to SWAT.
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Old July 31, 2001, 11:57 PM   #17
Rainbow Six
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I used to get S.W.A.T. magazine from the 'stands but they quit carrying it locally. I've missed the hell out of it! When I read that it had been bought by Rich I went to the site to subscribe immediately! The only drawback to S.W.A.T. as I remember it is having to wait a whole month between issues!

The price break for TFL'ers is an excellent deal if the mag is as good as it used to be. I'm still impatiently awaiting my first issue as a subscriber.

Rich,

Is there a way to get my hands on some back issues?

R6
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Old August 1, 2001, 12:13 AM   #18
CorG
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Rich,
Just subscribed. Is it possible for me to begin with the July issue? Thank you.
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Old August 1, 2001, 12:21 AM   #19
Denny Hansen
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R6,
Thanks for the kind comments. As for S.W.A.T. being as good as it used to be, with Rich at the helm there have already been improvements with many more on the way. And, because we have no "experts", only serious students of the modern martial arts, we have the luxury of being able to continue to learn and improve.

Back issues can be had by calling (800) 673-4595 toll free.

Denny
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Old August 1, 2001, 01:17 AM   #20
Rainbow Six
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Denny,

Thanks for the swift response! I look forward to enjoying S.W.A.T. again.

R6
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Old August 1, 2001, 01:18 AM   #21
Sodbuster
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Rich

My reason for not subscribing can be attributed to my extreme preference for privacy. It's not a paranoia thing, just a part of my character makeup. I believe the last gun-related magazine I subscribed to was American Rifleman about thirty years ago. I'm a private person, and this trait permeates all facets of my life.

I have purchased many gun rags off the shelf. I quit buying them for all the obvious reasons. I plan on buying SWAT off the shelf. I appreciate your price break, but I'd rather pay the higher news-stand price. UNLESS: does buying off the shelf affect your profits? I know the retailer takes a bite, but do you make at least the same when someone buys off the shelf? If you get more money through a subscription than from news-stand sales, I will subscribe.
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Old August 1, 2001, 05:06 AM   #22
45King
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To those complaining about magazines publishing stories about guns you'll never be able to own: so, it's the fault of the magazine, the editors, the authors, that YOU can't legally own a particular type of gun? "Those cretins in Washington/the state capital outlawed something else, so I think I'll cancel my subscription to [insert name of gunzine here] to show my displeasure."

Just one question: how many self-inflicted bullet holes do you guys have in your feet?

I subscribed when notice was first put up here.
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Old August 1, 2001, 05:53 AM   #23
Tom B
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I subscribed mainly because it is now TFL owned. I would suggest the name of the mag be changed. SWAT is not a very well respected term in pro-firearms pro-constitution circles these days.
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Old August 1, 2001, 08:17 AM   #24
Point Blank
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Does anyone have a number i can call to check the status of my subcription??I ordered over the phone the day Rich announced that he bought it (last month??),but looking at my credit card statement they pulled $19.95 very recently then credited my account $19.95 two days later.While i have the mike i will say it is very sad more members have not subcribed to the magazine.A lousy $20 bill for a full year is a small thanks we could show Rich for providing us with 24/7 instant access for questions we have,problems we encounter,to sell/buy items,to gain knowledge,etc. It IS very sad to hear how low membership to the magazine is with over 10,000 members and countless guest frequent this forum.We are not in a depression era people,drive past that Burger King,flea market,or gun store this weekend so you can subcribe.If i was Rich,i would leave a personal message in every persons box that havent subcribed,not to pressure or intimidate,but to ask..why??? Maybe feedback is needed from those who choose not to subcribe??How bout a poll on what the magazine could add/offer to make it more appealing to the non-subcribers.Maybe some are concerned getting this magazine in their mailbox,in their cozy affluent neighborhood,where folks talk....Does anyone know how it comes in the mail,in brown paper to hide its identity,or wide open.Again, need to find what would make the magazine more appealing to those you have chose not to subcribe.(Need a "pressure" man,Rich??) Hey,if you dont order i breaka your kneecaps!!! Only kidding everyone!!!!!!!!!
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Old August 1, 2001, 08:33 AM   #25
ahenry
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Rich,

Quote:
My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher? Seriously, your honest input and would be most helpful.
I had a real verbose answer for you, but I decided to boil it down into a basic comment. Wait and see how many more subscribers you get after a few issues hit the stands. I think that there are many like myself that want to see a few issues before they spend their money on them. That, combined with the fact that I think many, many people prefer to purchase one magazine one month and a different one the next are your biggest reasons that fewer than expected TFLers have subscribed. IMHO

Point Blank, The single reason I almost subscribed before even seeing the magazine was because of how much I appreciate all Rich (and the other admin types) have done for us. I never purchase anything sight unseen and that fact that I almost did should speak highly of Rich and his organization. The reason I ended up holding out was because it looked like Rich was getting an overwhelming number of positive responses. Perhaps I was mistaken in the actual amount of responses, but it did appear that way.
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