Snowbirds & RV Travelers magazine has effectively carved out a loyal and growing readership, as the Kelowna, B.C.-based publication has been serving the consumer RV travel and destination audience for 15 years.
“It’s a consumer-based magazine concentrating on the RV lifestyle and focusing more on destinations and tech tips,” said Steve Fennell, one of the publication’s managing editors who works remotely from Toronto. “We focus more on things to do with your RV rather than RV product reviews. We do have a tech feature, but only one per issue. Activities, gear and more of the overall experience is where we focus.”
The eight-times-per-year print magazine, published by Sun Cruiser Media, is also available in a digital version for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod and Android tablets, according to the Editor in Chief Perry Mack. Subscribers also receive a monthly newsletter chock full of up-to-date discounts, destinations, news, travel and tech tips.
“We publish five different titles of which Snowbirds and RV Travelers is one,” said Mack. “We have a four-wheel drive magazine, a sport fishing magazine, a boating magazine, a camping magazine and then we publish SEMA’s (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) section in their 4 X 4 and truck off-road publication.”
Mack said his group has run the magazine for 11 of its 15 years, picking it up in 2007 when it was, “a one-man operation, printing the magazine in a basement on a photocopier. We’ve turned it into a national publication sold at newsstands across Canada and across the world.”
Today, Snowbird and RV Traveler has a primarily Canadian circulation of around 30,000 with a total print and digital circulation of around 78,000, according to Mack.
“It’s been 50/50 for a while,” said Mack. “The difference is in the distribution of our audience. The digital is probably 80% U.S.
Mack explained that, as the title reflects, the magazine focuses on the Canadian nomads that head south in the winter. “Hundreds of thousands of Canadians go into the U.S. so we report on California to Florida and all points in between,” he said.
“We are the ‘Active RV Guys,'” he added. “We are more heavily focused on where to go and what to do. But recently we have had quite a lot of success on our YouTube channel for one of our first ever RV video walk-throughs. I think it is getting up to a million views. It’s the new Armadillo trailer, so we have begun focusing on RVs because it is a growing market.”
He said one of the most highly viewed web pages on the magazine’s site is the buy and sell section. Mack related that U.S. firms should understand that there are distinct differences between Canada and the United States.
“As close as the U.S. and Canada are, we still do have a different market,” he said. “We spell our words differently, we talk differently, and we have different values. And really, for companies to understand and attract the Canadian audience, they have to speak their language and that is where our magazine is important.”
Not many U.S. RV OEMs advertise in his magazine, but there is a concentration of businesses in the Southern U.S. that frequent his pages.
“Definitely the southern U.S. ads are heavily featured in the magazine,” said Mack. “It’s a direct connection to their audience speaking in the language of the audience they want to reach. A lot of Canadian RV manufacturers have always advertised with us, and then there is also Jayco, for instance, so there are some OEMs. I think the RV aftermarket is probably really missing out. They could definitely be doing a lot more selling to our audience.”
Check out Snowbirds & RV Travelers magazine at http://suncruisermedia.com