The following was published in VoyageUtah in May of 2022. To see the original version on their website, click Inspiring Conversations with Angie Bynum of Villager Magazine
Today we’d like to introduce you to Angie Bynum.
Hi Angie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Villager Magazine was originally started in 2009 in Cedar Hills, UT and like many small businesses, it was created to solve one of our own problems.
We owned another small business and one of our biggest challenges was advertising.
There were plenty of options available, but most were either too expensive, weren’t targeted specifically to our area, or didn’t have the quality presentation we wanted when representing our company. We decided we would create a small community magazine that would encompass all the elements we would want in a direct mail piece.
Our company was profitable from the very first issue and experienced a wonderful welcome from the community. Our advertisers were seeing success and the community seemed to enjoy receiving the classy little magazine. 18 months into the business, we doubled our distribution to 20,000 homes.
Based on growing customer demand, we launched new magazines in different areas expanding our reach to over 100,000 homes divided into 5 different zones by 2015. Each new area received its own version of Villager Magazine, mainly highlighting only businesses in each area.
In 2016, we changed our approach to growth and franchised our company. This took approximately a year to complete the franchise documents and fine-tune our systems. In 2017, we sold our first franchise consisting of an existing zone and added another zone which increased our distribution to 120,000 homes.
Now in 2022, we have 3 franchisees and mail our magazine to over 220,000 homes in Utah. In addition to the magazine, we feature our customer’s ads on our website and mobile app to provide a digital element to our offering.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Over the past 13 years, we’ve seen our fair share of challenges. We’ve made it through many competing magazines launching in our area, but with our commitment to great service and producing a quality product, we’ve stayed a favorite among consumers. We’ve also seen a huge rise in digital advertising and marketing products.
While digital marketing is a vital part of businesses’ marketing strategy, print has stayed a trusted source in advertising, but when hot new digital products hit the market we will often see an impact on our business. Thankfully, most of our advertisers have returned to us even if they’ve taken a break to explore other options.
We’ve also survived the impact of covid as many of our advertisers felt the impact of the pandemic and had to pause their advertising plans. Now, we are facing supply chain issues and rising paper costs, but like with all the other challenges, we feel like we will end up stronger after facing this challenge.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Villager Magazine?
With classy design on thick, high-end paper, our mission is to connect advertisers with consumers by distributing the most attractive direct-mail, strictly advertising magazine available.
Our goal is to create and maintain strong relationships with our advertisers by truly caring about their success. We are known for our quality, half-sized magazine. In fact, most people rave about how much they love the small, handy size and we are the only small magazine in the area.
We are most proud of really caring about producing results for our customers. We don’t pack our magazines with competitors–in fact, we limit most industries to 3. We carefully curate each magazine to include a wide variety of businesses that will appeal to consumers, which in turn produces great results for our advertisers.
What are your plans for the future?
Our vision is to expand Villager Magazine nationwide. We will become a household name in millions of homes across the country and will be the preferred form of print direct-mail advertising in the areas we mail to.
We will do this by selling franchises and master franchises across the country. Helping each franchisee achieve success in their communities.
- Ad prices start at $279 for every 20,000 homes!
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: villagermagazine.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stories/villagermagazine
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VillagerMagazine