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Welcome to the thoughts, news and insights of Air Business.

tuesday, 19 november, 2019

Subscriptions Marketing: 5 minutes with… Stuart Lacey

InPublishing speaks to Stuart Lacey, MD of Air Business Subscriptions to discuss the world of subs marketing and fulfilment. As content consumption habits evolve and publishers look to increase reader revenues. What should publishers be doing?

Q: What are the best ways to maximise retention rates?

A: Traditionally, retention has always been maximised by onboarding new subscribers through a continuous payment cycle. It goes without saying, a great product and consistently great content generates loyalty! A pain free onboarding with effective and timely fulfilment and customer service throughout the subscription term with a proactive mechanism and process flow in place to save cancellations via contact centre or online is where we come in.
In addition to all of that though, demonstrating the value of being a subscriber rather than just a casual engager, is paramount to any successful renewal strategy. Retention should be thought of as a constant objective in the customer journey not just something that’s tied to scheduled payments or a rigid comms strategy. Every potential touchpoint with a subscriber, whether it be with the publisher or the bureau, should be optimised to better aid retention.


thursday, 24 october, 2019

Strengthening our Team!

John Price is the newly appointed Head of New Business Development and he has a wealth of media industry experience. His background within publishing means that he understands the requirements and challenges facing the industry.

With over 21 years’ experience in the distribution, Paul Moring joins us as Key Account Manager. With his wealth of experience and focus on customer satisfaction, Paul will be a great addition to our account management team, ensuring we prioritise our clients’ requirements and meet their service level expectations.

Additionally, we have recently appointed a new Client Relationship Manager Simon Clare. Simon brings 20 years of experience in customer service and with his passion for high standards and quality service, he will ensure the client relationship team delivers a high quality customer experience to all our customers.

tuesday, 15 october, 2019

Brexit Update – Customs Documentation

As the 31st October becomes closer we are sending this to you to give some clarity on export classifications and customs paper work required for documents and goods in particular relation to our business with you.

We have been specialising in dispatching magazines, journals and books to the EU and Rest of World destinations for well over thirty years. Most of the items we dispatch are sent out via the global postal system. There are specific customs rules relating to postal distribution that are different from commercially clearing items into an overseas country. The majority of mail items we dispatch are sent to rest of world countries as opposed to EU destinations.

We use many different postal authorities for our routings to rest of world destinations and our presentation instructions from all these postal authorities for dispatching magazines, periodicals and books is that no customs documentation is required because magazines, periodicals and books are currently classified as documents by the Universal Postal Union (UPU- the organization that sets the global parameters and rules for postal authorities around the world) rather than goods.

If we were dispatching goods to ROW countries using post we would need to affix a CN22 for items up to £270 or a CN 23 for items over £270. The CN 22 and 23 are specific postal customs forms but there are not required for dispatches of documents.

Under the UPU’s current definitions, as published in their Statistics and Accounting Guide – Appendix f ( see below ) magazines are classified as documents , not goods.



  • Books
  • CD (Compact Disk) that is not merchandise such as personal data or personal photographs
  • Item for the Blind
  • Legal contract
  • Magazine
  • Newspaper
  • Passport
  • Periodical
  • Personal correspondence
  • Photograph that is not merchandise


  • CD (Compact Disk) that is merchandise such as commercial music or software
  • Clothes
  • Computer or Tablet
  • DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) that is merchandise such as commercial films/movies or software
  • Electrical equipment
  • Event tickets
  • Footwear and Shoes
  • Jewellery
  • Medicine or Pharmaceutical
  • Mobile phone
  • Mobile phone cover
  • Photograph that is merchandise such as a pin-up photograph or a poster
  • Sample – Medical Specimen
  • Sample – Perfume
  • Sample – Shampoo

The above is the situation as it stands at present and how it has been for many years. The rules may of course be subject to change in the future.

If in the coming weeks we get any further updates since our last Brexit communication, we will be in touch.

friday, 13 september, 2019

Air Business Brexit Update

Further to the Air Business advice earlier this year regarding a no deal Brexit and the impact upon print distribution into Europe, we would like to update you on further developments.

Air Business is uniquely positioned to be able to react to challenges in the supply chain resulting from a no deal Brexit. As we utilise a wide range of suppliers, including private commercial operators, airlines and post offices, we are able to flex our supply chain to minimise any delays.

As previously stated, there are no customs restrictions for magazines and periodicals and this will continue, it will still move as it does now through the postal systems in the event of a no deal.

We have been working with all of our 80 strong supplier base to keep up to date with their planning for a no deal and in addition to our previous advice we will be ready to:


  • Switch from road to air distribution into the EU if Dover becomes congested, this may result in a temporary increase in cost but we would consult with you as and when it became a reality.
  • Utilise other seaports such as Harwich and Holyhead which might be less congested, to move mail out of the UK, specifically into the EU.
  • Inject post directly via other routes, into suppliers in EU member states for onward distribution to other EU countries. For example, we have key suppliers in Germany and The Netherlands as well as, most importantly, our owners An Post in Ireland who already move approximately 70% of their outbound mail volume on direct flights out of Dublin.


Air Business also dispatches thousands of goods and parcels every night worldwide and already have the systems set up to deal with customs requirements if there is a hard Brexit. Please get in touch if you require further details about this.

wednesday, 11 september, 2019

Air Business Achieves BS 10012 Personal Information Management System

Air Business continues their commitment to keeping its customers’ data secure through gaining BS 10012:2017 certification for distribution and subscriptions.


Data protection is a leading concern for organizations of all sizes and sectors, many of whom manage large quantities of sensitive data. Keeping data secure is becoming more and more significant for partners in the publishing industry with such high risks on data security breaches. That’s why it is vital that publishers work with partners, such as Air Business, that embed a culture of compliance and best practice when acquiring, storing, processing and sharing personal data. Achieving certification BS 10012 supports an organisation’s information governance strategy, helping them respond to immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk and operational requirements. This certification is aligned with GDPR.
This is the latest official certification that Air Business adds to its portfolio, including ISO 27001, ISO 50001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Additionally, Air Business Subscriptions has long-operated to PCI-DSS Level 1 standard which ensures that its data and financial security is at the highest level, in fact the same as the banks.

Adam Sherman, Air Business Group Managing Director comments on the achievement,
“We are extremely proud that Air Business is now BS 10012 certified. We understand that data is a precious asset for our customers and we take this very seriously as a company. We are relentless in ensuring that their data is as safe as possible. As a company, we will work to continually uphold the highest standards. ”

Andrew Parks, Head of Compliance & Infrastructure DPO, adds,
“Gaining this certification has been a stringent process. We have worked hard to put strict measures in place to continue to ensure our customers’ data is kept private. At Air Business we are trusted by our clients to handle personal data in a secure environment and BS 10012 continues to prove our commitment.”

monday, 1 july, 2019

The Beacon: the home of Air Business

In September 2018, we moved our head office and distribution centre to a new purpose-built premises. Located in Hatfield Business Park, previously home to the Hatfield Aerodrome, we named our new building ‘The Beacon’ in honour of the Hatfield Beacon which once stood on this site, guiding trainee fighter pilots back to the old airfield during World War II.


Why not check out the video below for a mini tour of Air Business?


monday, 17 june, 2019

Our sponsored British GT4 racers off to a flying start!

This weekend will see Air Business’ sponsored GT4 racing duo Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien take to the race track once again for Round 6 of the British GT Championship competition at Donnington Park.

This is the first year that Johnson and O’Brien have raced together in a team for Balfe Motorsport in their McLaren. Having raced with fellow amateur driver and colleague Mike Robinson for four years, this new pairing marked the start of a new era for Johnson, Managing Director of UKi Media & Events.


As Johnson explained, “What McLaren are doing is putting me – a wiser and older head with lots of experience – with Michael, who is unquestionably very quick, in the hope that his speed and my experience will combine to result in a great deal of success.”


The duo are impossible to miss in their bright yellow McLaren, sponsored by Air Business.



Johnson and O’Brien have proven they are a strong team in the initial rounds of the competition – securing multiple podium successes throughout these.



We shall be keeping our fingers crossed for them both at Donnington Park this weekend of course. You can keep up with all the live action here  as well as following all the latest news from Balfe Motorsport.

friday, 10 may, 2019

Air Business is shortlisted for PPA Industry Partner of the Year Award 2019

Recognising our unwavering loyalty to the publishing industry, the PPA has shortlisted Air Business for its 2019 Industry Partner of the Year Award.

Since being established in 1986, Air Business has been a wholehearted and loyal supporter of the publishing industry. Offering a unique and seamless end-to-end distribution and subscriptions management service to the UK’s consumer and business magazine publishing market, we are widely recognised as the ‘number one’ supplier in this field; working with over 75% of UK magazine publishers.


We demonstrate our passionate support of the publishing industry through our long-standing relationship with the PPA. Indeed, 2019 marked a whole decade of Air Business being a PPA Strategic Partner. Throughout this time, we have consistently sponsored the PPA in its activities to support publishers and help them thrive and grow in challenging market conditions. With the publishing world embedded strongly in our roots, we have also been one of the first signatories of the National Literacy Trust’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge for the past three consecutive years, promoting the practice of reading within our own business and wider community in order to help tackle the UK’s rising literacy crisis.


As publishers grow and evolve to meet new consumer demands, we are constantly adapting our services and offerings to consistently meet their ever-changing needs. For example, some publishers are choosing to bolster their revenues through producing e-commerce products or subscription boxes. Air Business offers a strong end-to-end service proposition to help publishers manage this whole process; from front-end website hosting, to online payments, through to fulfilment and final end delivery.


Air Business remains confident and enthusiastic about the longevity of the publishing industry. Unlike some suppliers, we refuse to turn our back on this and, rather, are constantly investing heavily into serving our publishing clients. This recently involved investing into a brand new, purpose-built distribution centre and head office which was designed completely around our workflow and services to enhance our customer experience and high quality service level. Our subscriptions arm, Air Business Subscriptions, has also recently invested into a new state-of-the-art subscriptions management platform, Integra, as well as upgrading our advance business intelligence reporting system, Lumira. These promise to help our customers tackle new market challenges and understand their data to bolster their retention and acquisition rates.


Through our value-added e-commerce and telephone cancellation prevention services, Air Business Subscriptions managed to save 1,237 abandoned online shopping baskets for one customer – generating this client an ROI of over 1,000%. For the same customer, it has saved nearly 20% of telephone subscription cancellation attempts in one year.


When another of our publishing customers moved its fulfilment and distribution to Air Business, it quickly experienced a 23% growth in subscription sales from its core destination market. This was the result of the drastic improvements in safe and on-time delivery of the publisher’s time-critical weekly magazine. As we do for every customer, we devised this publisher a distribution and fulfilment solution completely bespoke to their needs with the wider aim of improving existing customer satisfaction and attracting new subscribers.


These results are not unique for Air Business. With our strong customer-centric approach, we constantly seek to add real value to our customers’ businesses and go above and beyond that of a regular supplier. We view ourselves not just as a supplier but an extension of our customers’ teams. It is for this reason that we have been nominated as for the 2019 PPA Industry Partner of the Year Award.


To see the full list of categories and nominees for the PPA Awards 2019, please click here.

monday, 8 april, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Looking After Our Customers

As Head of Strategic Accounts, Mark Everitt personally looks after a large portfolio of Air Business’ publishing clients in addition to managing the rest of our Account Management team. Like all of Air Business’ dedicated Account Managers, Mark is in a constant stream of communication with his clients, working to devise and deliver them bespoke subscriptions management and distribution solutions to meet their needs.

To find out more about the life of our Account Managers, Beyond caught up with Mark in The Beacon. 


Tell us a little bit about your background Mark. How long have you been in the industry?

I’ve been in the magazine distribution industry for about 25 years now. I started off working for a company called Mercury International. I worked in their warehouse for two months sorting US mail before moving into their customer service department for a few years. It was there where I truly found my feet and realised where I wanted my career to go. I loved having direct contact with customers and helping them work out how to mail their magazines around the world. So, I then moved into Account Management for Mercury and subsequently DHL Global Mail, eventually looking after DHL’s key publishing clients and, all the time, expanding my knowledge on both the publishing and distribution industry as a whole. In 2012, I joined the Air Business team and still absolutely love my job to this day.


How do you use your experience of the publishing industry to help your clients?

Well, let me start by saying that the most important thing for me is learning about my clients’ businesses; what’s important to them and their end customers and, ultimately, how Air Business can help them achieve their aims. Having worked in this industry for a long time and having a vast portfolio of publishing clients has allowed me to develop a great knowledge base. I have seen what works well for different types of customers and, consequently, can advise on and share successful processes and best practices with other clients so that they can benefit from these too.


With over 25 years’ worth of industry experience, what would you say is unique about Air Business?

Firstly, I would say the range of services we offer. With our end to end service offering, we literally offer the whole package: from subscriptions management, to storage, to print and digital fulfilment, to distribution. This is something that no other competitor in our market provides.

Secondly, I would say we have a unique place and offering to publishers. With our client base being over 70% of the UK’s magazine publishers and having served publishers consistently for 32 years (across all sectors; academic, business consumer and contract), Air Business has a great team of people who know the industry, and the needs of our customers, like the back of their hand. We also have a very close relationship and strong support from the PPA as its long-standing strategic partner. There is a good reason why the vast majority of these magazine publishers use Air Business! We are wholeheartedly loyal to the industry and our services, heritage and expertise really set us apart in the market.


You manage a lot of clients, how do you juggle your time between them?

It can be challenging but I’ve learned how to carry the workload and I also have a great team behind me.  As my portfolio has grown, so has the Account Management team. We are all well acquainted with each other’s accounts and offer each other advice on these. This means that, when I am on holiday, for example, my customers are never left alone: they always have an Account Manager they can turn to who also knows their business. Additionally, another unique character of Air Business is our two-tier account management system whereby our Customer Relationship Group (CRG) manage many of the day-to-day dealings of our accounts so, again, there is always more than one person working with each of our customers to ensure that they are fully looked after. I think that Kevin Lamb coming on-board to manage the CRG team, as Head of Client Relations and Insights, will also prove a great benefit to enhance our customer service even further in this area. Kevin worked on the client side for over 20 years, for TI Media, so he can share his great knowledge and experience with the team.


We’ve spoken quite a bit about the distribution side of the business, but what do you do with Air Business Subscriptions?

I work a lot on the subscription side of the business too although I really struggle to see the distribution and subscription arms as two separate entities as I feel there is a very good synergy between them. Working in subscriptions, since joining Air Business, has increased my knowledge of the overall end to end service, including the subscription management and digital fulfilment side of the magazine industry. So I can also help my clients with decisions they’re making on the subscriptions front.  Again, it’s all about creating a consultative relationship with my customers rather than just being a supplier. I’d like to think that my clients feel that they can call me about anything and ask for advice, whether it be distribution or subscriptions related.


How are you settling into the brand new building The Beacon?

Well, the nature of my role does mean that I’m not permanently based at The Beacon as I’m often out on the road meeting clients or at Air Business Subscriptions in Haywards Heath. However, when I am here, it’s a great place to work and a very motivated environment; everyone has felt it’s been an incredibly positive move. The Beacon has got a contemporary yet corporate feel – it reflects how we’ve felt for years – we mean business! I am really excited about the increased capacity and efficiency opportunities the new Head Office provides and I can’t wait to welcome my clients to our new home and show them around.


Finally, what would you say are the most rewarding parts of your job?

Definitely the client relationships.  For me, it’s all about getting to know my clients, building a genuine relationship with them and knowing that they trust me. Ultimately, their trust is my real reward. I do take things personally and want to do the absolute best for my clients and ensure they are completely happy with the Air Business service. For that I of course have to have trust in the Air Business service as, if I didn’t I wouldn’t use it personally which would mean I couldn’t sit in front of my clients, representing the company, and look them in the eye.  Many of them I have known for years (they will know who they are when they read this!) and I really do value all my relationships with each one of them.”

tuesday, 19 february, 2019

Air Business remains committed to tackling the UK’s Literacy Crisis

Air Business, the UK’s market-leader in global mail, fulfilment, distribution and subscription management continues its commitment to help drive up UK literacy levels for another year by signing the National Literacy Forum’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2019.

Based on a survey, carried out by the National Literacy Trust in December 2018, the more books a child owns, the more likely they are to do well at school and be happy with their lives. However, The National Literacy Trust found that 9% of children say that they don’t own or have a book of their own at home. This statistic means that 1 in 11 children and young people in the UK miss the benefits of having their own books.


Air Business has been distributing books to children aged 0 – 5, on behalf of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library UK, since 2010 and demonstrated its commitment to the charity’s mission by enrolling its eligible employees too. Since partnering with Air Business, the number of books distributed in the UK by the charity has gone from 2,500 to 30,000 and Air Business has sent out over one million books for the Imagination Library. Currently, Air Business is working with its parent company, An Post, to help Dolly’s Imagination Library launch in Ireland so that children there can benefit from the books too.


By signing the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, Air Business promises to encourage its employees to take part in internal fundraising and spread greater awareness of the campaign amongst the UK publishing market.



Adam Sherman, Air Business Group Managing Director, comments:


We are excited to be signing the National Literacy Forum’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge for the third year running and understand the importance of raising awareness of the crisis. Air Business as a Group has served the publishing industry for over 45 years and like our clients, we are passionate about people engaging with the written word.”