What is Circulation?

Circulation is narrowly defined as the number of copies of a publication distributed through various channels. In business, the term circulation can be used to describe the dissemination of a product, brand or service. In either case, circulation happens through various channels, including direct mail, online or in person. Circulation is important because it is a simple way to understand how many eyes are on a publication and its contents.

How circulation works

  1. It expands a business

    The major purpose of circulating something is to put that information in front of more consumers. Circulation happens in a number of ways. It can be done through online campaigns, emails, social media and more. It can also be done physically, through direct mail, flyers, face-to-face contact or a combination. In all cases, the purpose is getting information straight into the hands of potential consumers.

  2. It raises interest

    Circulation is also meant to raise interest in a product. Whether it is a business circulating information about its product, or a newspaper is circulating its latest edition, the goal is to get people excited about consuming it and then asking for more. If you want to do this effectively in marketing, it is important to put the product in front of a target audience and use persuasive language and visuals to draw the audience in.

  3. It drives revenue

    By creating interest, circulation is also creating revenue. In the traditional definition, circulation would happen based on subscriptions. Paid subscribers would make up the circulation base and provide revenue. In the marketing world, circulation drives revenue by creating new buyers. Putting information in front of consumers and potential consumers is key.

Circulation Best Practices

  1. Be strategic

    Circulation works best in marketing when it has a specific purpose and target audience. The number of eyes that see a product, service or brand is only one piece of the equation. The other part: how many of these people are consumers that will align with your business? If you're only reaching 60 year old men, with a product that is meant for teen girls, you are not circulating your product effectively.

  2. Be clear

    Circulation can be effective no matter the industry. A retail store relies on the business created by a circulation of sales events, just as a newspaper relies on circulation to reach readers and get new subscribers. But, consumers won't keep coming back if the information is not clear. Provide consumers with the who, what, when, where and why. And make sure its clear to them how to get more of your product, if they want it.

  3. Be reactive

    Post-circulation analysis is key to making better decisions in the future. What about your product is getting results? What audiences are reacting the best? Use the two to make alterations and create a product that matches the audience it's being circulated to. Once you find the good fit, be sure to keep tweaking and updating the information so it feels fresh and the audience stays engaged.