We have a direct mail case study to share with you for a new client that makes for a great success story. For this case study, we spoke with Andrea Martucci, Managing Director. Let’s dive right in!
Ploughshares, the professional Literary Magazine at Emerson College, mailed a #10 Voucher package that used an attention-grabbing offer presentation without talking down to these high-minded prospects.
- Two-color outer envelope
- Two-color form with monotone photos of the guest-editors on back (which stressed how having a rotating editor uniquely sets Ploughshares apart from the competition)
- Two-page letter that included an interactive side flap focused on the famous literary voices first showcased in the publication
- One-sided buckslip playing up the premiums
- Offer-driven chit
This direct mail package was tested against a new business campaign from 2011, consisting of a 2-color, 1-page letter with response slip attached, a tri-fold 4-color brochure, #9 business reply, all housed in a 2-color #10 window envelope.
The aim was to be more transactional and assumptive of the sale than the previous control — while using shorter, more actionable copy blocks that highlighted the recipients’ interests versus simply presenting features of the product.
According to the CLMP (Council for Literary Magazines and Presses): “Generally speaking, a well-executed direct mail package sent to well-targeted lists should bring in at least 1% or more of the total number mailed.” In reviewing our previous history of direct mail subscription campaigns, we were consistently getting about 2.1%-2.2% about 10-15 years ago.
Using the same campaign as earlier years (one that is recommended for literary magazines: #10 window, 4 page letter, response card with variable data), with slight variations every year, by 2006/2007 the response rate had fallen to about 1.5%. In speaking to people at other literary journals, we learned that our peers were experiencing a similar drop in response rates.
The response rate for the 2011 control was 1.32%. The response rate for the 2013 campaign provided by AdSpace Communications was 2.76% — with 80% cash with order. What most excites us is that approximately 65% of the orders were for a two-year term (which was not even offered on the previous control). Needless to say, we are thrilled with the response rate!
We learned the value of taking the extra time to arrive at the best offer and best presentation prior to rushing a campaign out the door. We also integrated direct mail best practices with our knowledge of our audience, and customized the mailing slightly to appeal to former subscribers as well as new prospects.
First, as Ploughshares content is timeless, we were able to add to the number of premiums by offering two back issues (which also allowed us to save space and money on warehousing.)
Secondly, AdSpace provided two takes of the outer (for new prospects) — as the more packages opened would increase overall response. While both versions handily beat the control, the single window, traditional envelope outperformed a close-faced, matched mailing with affixed addressing label. This confirmed that paying for a more expensive, but more personal-looking, outer was not worth the additional expense.
If you have any questions, or want samples, please contact us!