Premiums

Rethinking Direct Mail Premiums

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

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I’m a strong proponent of testing direct mail premiums. Why? Because they typically increase the mailing’s response rate and its net profit!

Take, for instance, those personalized address labels you receive in mailings. Practically all of us have a use for them. And as soon as we run out, we go looking for more.

Yes, they add to the mailing’s cost. But typically, they also spike the number of people responding, raise the average gift and increase the mailing’s net income.

Rethinking direct mail premiums

Premiums work because of (more…)

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5 Direct Mail Inserts That Increase Response

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

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It’s said that the purpose of a direct mail letter is to sell, whereas the objective of a mailing’s brochure is to explain.

That said, many mailers seem to have a compulsion to include a brochure in their mailing. But before you join the rush, note that very few of us have mailings whose purpose is to “explain.”

For most of us, the objective is to increase the mailing’s net profit, and too often a brochure distracts the reader’s attention from responding.

Yet adding particular inserts to the mailing can increase response and – despite the added cost – increase the mailing’s net income.

Here are examples of 5 inserts that you should test.

As you’ll see, their purpose isn’t to explain but to enhance the value of the benefits offered and to reduce any reluctance the reader (more…)

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10 Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Direct Mail Offer and Beat the Control

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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When attempting to beat the control, the temptation is to focus on new copy. But testing new copy alone has far less potential to influence results than does making changes to the mailing’s offer.

Here are 10 easy ways you can increase direct mail response by revising your offer.

  1. Offer something free. Your mailing can include an offer for free shipping, free financing, 3 months’ free membership, address labels, a bookmark, a decal, etc. On the back end, you can fulfill a nearly endless list of gifts – in all price ranges – for those who respond.

10 Easy Ways to Strengthen Direct Mail Offer
If you already offer a premium, test a new one. It doesn’t need to be expensive – or even relate to the organization’s mission – as long as it has a perceived value.

Unfortunately, many groups – and especially boards of directors – hate premiums, believing they cheapen the organization. But most donors and customers respond to (more…)

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How to Use a Pre-Event Routine for More Profitable Direct Mail Testing

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

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If you watch sports, you’ve seen a “pre-event routine” in action.

In baseball, major-league batters will go through their pre-event routines before every pitch. Watch them and you’ll see some batters come to the plate, take two swings and then tap the edge of the plate with their bat before each pitch. The routines vary with each batter, but practically every major leaguer has an established routine.

You’ll see the same thing in basketball. The next time you see a player taking a foul shot, watch what they do. The player may bounce the ball twice, hold the ball and then bounce it again before taking the shot. Whatever their routine, they will go through the same sequence of events each time they take a foul shot.

Athletes use pre-event routines to prepare for success. It gives them focus and purpose, and helps them achieve a higher level of performance. Now we need to develop our own pre-event routine to make our direct mail more profitable. (more…)

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How to Boost Your Direct Mail Profits by Spending More

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

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When times get tough, everyone wants to cut direct mail costs. After all, if we can bring in the same amount of money and spend less, our profits increase.

And there are ways to cut costs without necessarily hurting the effectiveness of your mailing.

Cutting Direct Mail Costs or Making Money

Cut Costs or Make Money?

You can, for example, trim your package format by ¼ inch or so to make it run better on your printer’s press, use a cheaper paper, test smaller formats, omit package inserts or eliminate the premium.

But don’t act too quickly.

Before getting caught up in the rush to cut expenses, we need to remember the objective (more…)

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Why Test Premiums
and 3 Ways to Make Them Work For You

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

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Testing Direct Mail Premiums In my last post, I talked about when to test direct mail premiums. Now, let’s discuss 3 different types of premiums, why you’ll want to test each one and how to make them work for you.

First, let’s acknowledge that when we test a premium, we’re testing a change to our offer and nothing, other than list selection, will have as great an affect on our results.

We use premiums to motivate the reader into taking a specific and desired action. It isn’t to reward, inform or thank the reader but to promote response and increase the (more…)

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There Are Only Two Occasions and One Reason to Test Direct Mail Premiums

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

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There are only two occasions when you should test direct mail premiums.

The first is when you’re not using premiums. If you’re not, you should test them now. The second occasion? When you are using premiums, you need to continue testing new ones.

Many organizations hate premiums. But most donors and customers love them and since this is a customer-driven business, I suggest you test them now.

Premiums don’t have to be expensive gifts. Often the best ones are unused merchandise sitting in a warehouse or the nearly forgotten informational pamphlet that’s begging to be used.

Countless organizations have enjoyed huge success by offering address stickers, note cards, decals, bumper stickers, iron-on patches, certificates of recognition, membership (more…)

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