The July 2011 issue of our ‘Sample of the Month’ case study newsletter features our client Wildlife Conservation Society and their successful test of live, low-denomination stamps on their outers. Ballantine handled the printing and mailing of this campaign.
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This spring, the Wildlife Conservation Society had a last-minute change in one of their fundraising direct mail campaigns which effectively nixed a package test they had planned for an appeal to help them establish a new national park in Africa protecting gorillas. This sudden change gave them an opportunity to test something they had always been thinking about — live, low-denomination stamps on their outers.
The test was simple — the control would be their standard, closed-faced #10 outer with a presorted mail stamp affixed to it, but for the test, they would include two real $0.01 Tiffany lamp stamps next to the presorted mail stamp.
Ballantine also added a faux cancellation graphic that made it look even more like the piece was just a normal letter coming through the mail and not a pre-packaged, bulk mailing. Everything inside the package (letter, reply form, photo card and BRE) was exactly the same for both versions.
Wildlife Conservation Society knows they have about 1.3 seconds to persuade someone to open their mail piece, and they figured anything they could do to make it look more like a personal piece of mail rather than a mass-market communication would give them an advantage in capturing the recipient’s attention.
The additional stamps definitely gave them the edge they were seeking. Their response rate and average gift amount both jumped 20% versus the control, and the revenue generated by the test panel was 45% greater than the control.
On the expense side, this test cost them virtually nothing additional. Since the value of the live $0.01 stamps was applied to the postage due for the mail piece, the only real added expense was a very small stamp-affixing charge. With such a big bang for little buck, they’ll be rolling out with the extra stamps on future appeals.
If you would like to support the Wildlife Conservation Society, please donate here.