A key factor in the growth of successful magazines – converting news stand purchases to subscriptions – is being helped by a user-friendly Midlands software tool for managing sales and income.

Managing a magazine depends on co-ordinating departments, then making sure that subs are renewed: a challenge without the right tool.

But dozens of magazines covering everything from waterways to motorcycles; and from the Proms to nursing care; are able to grow, using a module from Stourport-based Publishing Software Company.

PSC, the market leader, has developed the sales management software that keeps cash flowing for magazines, such as the RCN’s Nursing Standard, Opera, and theatre guides.

For example, it enables an unlimited five-shot subscription reminder series, helping magazines such as Opera to stay on song with a remarkable 95 per cent renewal rate.

Opera magazine has seen subscriptions hit a top note, rising nine per cent since utilising PSC’s subscription programme’s rich functionality.

Visitors to Publishing Expo at London’s Olympia last month (February) saw PSC’s cost-effective software solutions which helped them develop – by ensuring that revenue was efficiently cornered and gathered, whether from subscriptions or advertising sales.

It’s used by magazines from Hong Kong to Atlanta, to research ad opportunities, and help sales teams to target client groups and upcoming features on chosen subjects: such as training, or education.

Laurence Cope, owner of Publishing Software Company, www.p-s-c.co.uk, based in Stourport, Worcs, said:

The system keeps businesses on track, from sales prospecting to invoicing, so that what would take accounts staff a day – writing invoices, confirmation notes, logging data into accounts – takes ten minutes. There are customers who have been happy, loyal users of the system for over a decade.

There would be room for error each time information is manually carried across. But the system removes this risk, and securely records the history of dealing with a client. Also, if you don’t have a centralised lead-generating system, to support selling space in the magazine, you lose experience and information when staff leave.

Its CRM system can record conversations with clients, write letters and help double sales, as it trims a half-hour job of processing confirmation notes to five minutes – printing batch labels for voucher copies for advertisers, and drawing up invoices in one ‘hit,’ ready for loading into their own accounting system.

One user, Cabbell Publishing, which produces the BBC Proms magazines as well as publishing most Theatre Guides in London and the UK, amounting to around 100 titles, has grown to a 50-strong workforce using the system. Owner Andrew Todd said:

We couldn’t have built the business without it. And it is very reasonably priced.