Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have any digital options?
Yes, we do. We have a digital arm of our company called Big Green Digital, and we provide an array of services from building websites, to email marketing, to banner ad placement. Details can be found at www.biggreendigital.com. Our Iowa Living magazines website alone (www.iowalivingmagazines.com) has over 9,000 monthly page views and more than 6,100 unique visitors each month. And we have more than 6,200 volunteer subscribers to our weekly email blast. Advertising opportunities are available on all these options.
Is advertising with you going to work?
We have been publishing for 14 years. As long as you have a product or service that people want, and you have it priced so they see it as a value, you will get great results. What is most important is that we strive to understand what you expect out of your advertising so we can help you achieve your goals. Our advertising representatives are trained in helping customers uncover their needs and identify solutions that drive the expected results.
I have never advertised before. Do I really need to?
Your business name may have great awareness with current residents, but keep in mind that 20 percent of the market moves each year, bringing new people here who never heard of your business. And in this competitive world, we all need a nudge to remind us of the great places we already know about, too.
How much does an ad cost?
The short answer is somewhere between $170 and $2,490. The better answer is that most of our advertising customers spend about $400 per month, depending on the size of their ads and the frequency of their campaigns. We work with businesses of all sizes and budgets to create effective advertising.
What if my ads don’t produce the results I expected?
Our advertising contracts allow for cancellation for any reason. We simply rebill the advertising that did run at the rate that was earned. You will never pay for ads that didn’t run, and you will never spend more than you would have spent if you only committed to the ads that did run.
Do I have to pay in advance?
If you are a new customer, you should expect to pay in advance for the first 90 days. If you have a credit history with us, we can set you up on a billing cycle. Payment is required within 30 days of receiving our invoice.
Are your readers my potential customers?
The Iowa Living magazines have a wide range of readers, but our core readers are younger, more educated and have a higher income than the market in general. Our full circulation and readership audit is available to anyone, and we would be glad to share that information with you to see how many of our readers fit your target market.
Do I have to sign a contract?
All advertising transactions with our company require a signed contract to assure that all communication is in writing. We offer discounts for advertisers who are willing to commit to longer-term agreements, but we provide various options for customers who want shorter-term contracts for events or seasonal needs as well.
If l advertise, will you write a story on me?
News and advertising are separate departments, and buying advertising does not help or hurt your chances of having a story written about you. An advertising rep can certainly pass your name along, but your best bet is to contact the writer yourself. We do offer advertorial options that are helpful for some businesses, and we would be glad to share those promotional ideas with you.
How do I create an ad?
That’s our job. Our advertising representatives are trained to help create effective ads that will provide leads for your business. We have a group of award-winning designers to do the creative work so you don’t have to, and it’s all free when you purchase advertising with us.
My competitors don’t advertise with you; why should I?
Probably because we have not called on them yet. But we certainly will. Meanwhile, we are here to help create ideas to help your business by turning our readers into your customers. And besides, do you really want to place your ads next to your competitors, giving your potential customers a reason to consider another option?
Word of mouth advertising works best for my business. Why should I do anything else?
Word of mouth should be any company’s best form of marketing, but it works very slowly. We can enhance your word of mouth advertising by reaching nearly 200,000 readers per issue. It all works together. And by advertising in the Iowa Living magazines, you can control the message. Word of mouth (and social media) can dangerously spread misinformation about your business, and you have very little control over what is posted.
Do you charge for design service fees?
We provide basic design services for free for our contract customers. This is an added benefit that we encourage our customers to take advantage of.
Do I get a discount if I supply the ad?
No. We would prefer to build the ads to help drive results for you to reassure the best reproduction of your message and image.
Who reads the Iowa Living magazines?
More than 150,000 central Iowans do each month. In short, Iowa Living magazines readers are younger, more educated and have higher incomes than the market in general. About two-thirds of our readers are between the ages of 35-64. More than 80 percent earn more than $50,000 per year. 85% are college educated. We would be glad to provide a copy of our full audit to share what percentage of our readers plan to buy your products or services in the next 12 months.
How are the Iowa Living magazines distributed?
The Iowa Living magazines are mailed via USPS to over 123,000 homes each month. The full digital editions can also be accessed for FREE at www.iowalivingmagazines.com where we have more than 9,000 page views each month or by email with over 6,200 volunteer subscribers.
Who owns the company?
The Iowa Living magazines have been locally owned since their inception in 2007. The magazine is part of Big Green Umbrella Media, which is owned by Shane Goodman and operated out of offices in Johnston.
How long have the Iowa Living magazines been in business?
Can I advertise once and see how it works?
For events and close-out sales, yes. But for most other advertising, we will encourage you to simply save your money. Advertising once rarely works, unless it is a major discount or event. Most advertising needs to be seen, heard or read multiple times before acted upon, and Iowa Living magazines advertising does, too. We want you to get results, and advertising once will rarely accomplish that.
How do I get the word out about my business in the Des Moines area?
You have many advertising options— TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media, email, etc. — and most all of them can be effective in some way. Our suggestion is to always ask for a media company’s audits, as most any reputable TV station, radio station, newspaper or magazine will have one for their viewership, listenership or readership. If they don’t, ask them why… and proceed with caution.
What other print options are available?
Our company is the leader in print publications with monthly titles including CITYVIEW, 13 community lifestyle magazines (Ankeny, Urbandale, Altoona, Indianola, Johnston, Waukee, Jordan Creek, Adel, Dallas Center/Grimes, Norwalk, Winterset, Bondurant and North Polk), three community newsletters (Adel, Dallas center/Grimes, Johnston, Polk City and Waukee) and a variety of other quarterly, bi-annual or annual niche publications. Other print options in central Iowa include The Des Moines Register, The Business Record, DSM magazine, Welcome Home magazine, WOW magazine and several niche and coupon clipper publications. Always ask to see a publication’s full distribution and readership audits, not fancy marketing pieces that fail to show the full story.
What is branding advertising?
Some businesses don’t expect direct response from their advertising but rather prefer to “get their name out.” Much of this “branding” or “image” advertising is done in radio or TV, while print advertising has been commonly used to drive direct and measurable results. Businesses today are learning that print advertising can also be very effective in branding, especially in driving traffic to websites. Our advertising representatives are trained to help create branding campaigns to achieve your desired results.
I don’t know what I should advertise.
For many businesses, this can be solved by answering a simple question: What makes your business better than your competition? Each of your responses can be part of an effective advertising campaign. Our advertising sales representatives are trained to help you work through this and will create sample ads for you to consider before you invest a single penny.
What ad size should I buy?
That depends if you want to simply be present in the magazine, or if you want to dominate the publication. If your competition is running ¼ page ads, you may want to consider a ½ page if you want your message to dominate theirs. Also, larger ads deliver faster results. So if your message requires fast action (a promotion that is only available for a short amount of time), then you should consider larger ads. Our advertising representatives can help you develop a sensible plan for your company. We work with businesses of all sizes and all budgets to create effective advertising.
How does the advertising cost compare to direct mail?
The advertising investment in the Iowa Living magazines is much more affordable than typical direct mail at only pennies per household. More importantly, the readership of the Iowa Living magazines far exceeds what direct mail can offer. At its best, direct mail is read by about half of its recipients. In comparison, the Iowa Living magazines are read in more than 7 out of 10 households.
Does color cost extra?
No. We do not nickel and dime our customers with a bunch of extras or add-ons. You pay for the size of the ad and the frequency of the run for one flat rate that includes full color.
How often do the Iowa Living magazines publish?
Each magazine publishes monthly with 3 or 4 of the editions publishing each week. All are mailed to USPS residential addresses and are typically in homes on Thursdays.
Can I change my ad?
Yes. You can run an entirely different ad each month if you want to, but we rarely recommend that as consistency is important, too. We provide a proof of the ad for you to review to make sure that the copy and look is what you desire.
Can I run in different editions?
Yes. We provide discounts for advertisers to pick up their ads into other zones to take advantage of more circulation and more readers (more potential customers).
Is your circulation growing or declining?
Our circulation is growing in every community we serve. We mail to every household, and as more homes are built, our circulation keeps growing. Even more importantly, our readership is growing, too. Our Iowa Living magazines are read in more than 7 out of 10 households on average in any community we serve. That is a phenomenal number that can’t be matched by any local newspaper, radio station, TV station or form of social media.
How do I get on the cover of an Iowa Living magazines?
Our front covers are not for sale, but we do provide sticky note options for customers interested in this added exposure. We do also provide premium positions in other parts of the magazine.