September Circulation Penetration Analysis Instructions


On October 1, you need to begin working on your Annual Penetration Analysis Report. This report is a very important and useful tool for determining your market's household penetration and for evaluating strength in your county by geographic areas. For any new ZIP codes, please provide the name of the town. 



  1. Complete the September monthly circulation report as you normally would. 


  1. Obtain ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL postal patron count for routes and boxes from the Interlink website ( This access is available regardless if you are an Interlink user or not. Click on Delivery Statistics in the left toolbar and enter the ZIP codes for your in-county area and select the ‘Detailed’ button. Click Search and use the Active Residential Column (Act. Res.) for the postal patron column on your report. Be careful to count only patrons with the appropriate county code when gathering numbers. Compare these figures to those received the previous year for reasonableness. 


      NOTE: For post offices with city carrier routes, omit the postal patron count for post office boxes,       but include the subscribers on the appropriate cell. You should list post office box Active Residential counts for post offices with rural routes only.


3a.  In-county mailed papers should list the number of subscribers on each corresponding route based upon the M2C stats report. Use the Paper column, not the label column. The total of in-county mail subscribers should equal the total of in-county subscriber copies from the 3541. A formula will calculate this figure; do not key over this field. Remember to deduct any NIE or single copy drops that are mailed.


3b. Carrier-delivered papers can use the count in total by zip code, without route-by-route       breakdown. 


3c.  Big 3 Dailies should use the 2008 Household count provided by ABC.


To calculate the bottom portion of the spreadsheet:


4.   Use the LAST ISSUE of September for mail, carrier, employee, and out-of-county mail; broken   down into adjoining counties and elsewhere from the monthly circulation report. The total of the    stats less the in-county mail equals the out-of-county newspapers. Split the adjoining county vs.      elsewhere according to the ZIP codes listed on the stat report.


  1. Use the AVERAGE of the LAST WEEK for NIE and bulk sales. Ex: Multi-weeklies & dailies will need to calculate the average for the actual last week in September.


6.   Use the MONTHLY AVERAGE for single copies for September to smooth out issue-to-issue    variances.


Helpful Hints:

1.   Do NOT include large one-time sample copies in your Penetration Analysis calculations. They      are a one-time event and will not show a “true” history of your numbers. They also should not be    added in the Free Circulation line. It is best to avoid sampling in September, but if you do, let us       know so we can remove single copy sales on that day from averages to avoid distortion.


  1. The spreadsheet will calculate the Totals for each section. Do not key over these cells.


      3.   The figures should not vary too much from the 2008 report unless a large difference can   be   explained. For example: If your post office condensed routes, Route 8 may be gone but it’s     been distributed throughout Routes 1-7. 


A few extras:

1.  Please update the number of single copy outlets and the dealer commission at the top of your penetration analysis.  Just handwrite the September 2009 numbers at the top. Your 2008 numbers are located at the top of your 2008 Penetration Analysis.


2. If you have a shopper, real estate guide, or a free publication, be sure to include the September circulation figure for that publication at the top of the report.


3. Make sure you are not double-counting single copies or NIE copies that are mailed via the post office. Single copies should be accounted for on the single copy line and NIE copies should be on the NIE line. Neither of these should be counted on the in-county mailed line even if they are in the totals on the 3541 report.


4. Please be sure that any NIE copies you list on your report are actually paid for. We cannot report copies that hope to be paid.



* In-County Mail Subscribers, Carrier & Motor Route, Employee, Paid Adjoining Counties, Paid Elsewhere – balance to the last issue of month.

* Newspaper in Education, Bulk Sales – balance to the average of the last week of month.

*  Single Copy Sales – balance to the month average.


Please email the penetration analysis with your September circulation report


Mail (or PDF) the following:

3541 Postal Report for the last issue of September

3602-R for the last Shopper of September (if applicable)

If you send renewal notices via standard mail, please send a copy the 3602-R

M2C Stats Report for the last issue of September (Interlink users)

M3C Stats Report for the last shopper of September (Interlink users)

USPS Qualification Report for newspapers on DSI