Readership Survey Results: High Engagement and Loyalty

Posted on Sep 6, 2018

Breaking news: Nine out of 10 readers love our magazines.

We conducted a readership survey with GfK MRI this spring to see how our three magazines—Ruralite, Currents and Florida Currents—are meeting expectations. Public power utilities and industry associations use Ruralite Services’ magazines to connect with more than one million readers. Almost half a million magazines arrive in homes from Alaska to Florida. This is a great chance to see what resonates, what readers would like to see and what we can do better.

A four-page questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of readers. The survey focused on analyzing lifestyle data, demographic characteristics and readers’ use of products and services. We are excited to share what we discovered. Hear what our leaders have to say in this Readership Survey Results video.

Super Engaged Readers

Almost 80 percent of those surveyed read 3 of the last 4 issues, indicating most of our readers are highly engaged. Readers reported spending about 30 minutes with the average issue, another high mark.

The time spent reading and other engagement metrics were well above those for the most highly rated magazine titles in the country, according to GfK MRI.

“Two elements particularly stood out in the results: time spent reading and reader loyalty,” said Head of Custom Research Paul Sammon with GfK MRI. “A Ruralite publication reader’s choice to sit and enjoy the magazine for nearly a full 30 minutes is a testament to engaging content. That a full 77 percent of all magazine readers read each and every issue is a testament to their powerful bond with the magazine.”

“The numbers tell a great story,” says Ruralite CEO Michael Shepard. “Defying all the rumors of print’s decline, our magazines are actually as popular as ever with the readers we serve. Survey results also indicate that while print remains strong, digital is gaining strength.”

Infographic of Readership Survey Results

Readership Survey Impressions

Most readers agree our magazines contain relevant information and enlightening content that can easily be shared with others. Florida Currents readers especially see the magazine as modern, engaging and the go-to place for utility information.

We were pleased to hear the subjects we cover really click with readers. The topics that garnered the most interest were energy efficiency tips, home improvement and home safety, recipes and food articles, local interest stories and gardening (this is one area readers want us to dig into).

Other Fun Facts to Help Guide Us

  • 93 percent of magazine readers are homeowners.
  • Ruralite readers are actively improving and remodeling their homes, with 80 percent indicating they completed a project within the last year.
  • Woof! Of readers surveyed, three out of four own pets. And a lot of you are dog owners.

Looking Ahead and Staying Connected

“One neat find is that views about the quality of what do hold strongly across states and regions … Florida Currents readers like what they are seeing just as much as readers of Ruralite and Currents magazines,” says Ruralite Publications Editor Leon Espinoza. “Our challenge will be to take a good thing and make it even better.”

The Ruralite Services’ editorial team will use the survey results to brighten content and steer a redesign across all three magazines.

“The survey shows our magazines offer a unique opportunity to keep connecting with readers,” says Espinoza. “There is so much to tap, from lifestyle and new technology content to focusing on locally grown food and associated recipes.”

The preferred social media network of surveyed readers is Facebook. You can follow Ruralite Services on Facebook, as well as two of our publications, Ruralite Magazine and Florida Currents, to keep up with all of the exciting changes to come.


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