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Audition Division Evolves Its Media Mix to Turn Around Its Business

August 4, 2010 By Ethan Boldt

Is it possible in this economy to reinvent and save a business that relies on direct mail, and turn around plummeting response rates?

The answer is a resounding "yes!" when you talk to Jerry Kau, the owner of Audition Division Ltd. (ADL), a firm that auditions children for Chicago-area modeling and talent agencies.

ADL invites parents to submit an application to audition their children. It then selectively sends the parents a no-cost audition pass. With a confirmed appointment, the child is auditioned in the firm's studios. If there is potential, ADL requests professional photos and demos to use when working to get clients signed by modeling and talent agencies.

But by 2009, the dynamics of Kau's business had changed.

"Due to the economy, our business took a turn-down as did other businesses. For 38 years, we had used direct mail to generate 3 to 4 percent response rates, but in 2009, it dwindled to around 1 percent. We had to make changes," reveals Kau.

In February 2010, with limited Internet savvy, Kau asked his assistant to look online for some inspiration. Through organic search, they came across the website of direct marketing firm Hennerberg Group Inc.

After a couple of conversations, it became apparent that the media dynamics had changed and that an integrated direct mail and Internet presence was going to be essential to attract younger aged parents. A strategy was devised that included a low-cost #10 direct mail package, a new website and URL, search engine optimization efforts and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

After crafting the new website, freshening the direct mail piece and evaluating lists, the first mailing was dropped in April 2010. The number of Web-based applications rose, yet overall response rates were still only 1.75 percent. Disappointed, but not defeated, Hennerberg Group learned more about ADL's clientele. That led to simplifying the creative a bit, working closely with list and data services firm American List Counsel to uncover more potent lists and mailing again in June 2010.

These tweaks delivered a solid 6 percent response, with nearly 70 percent of the applications being submitted online at ADL's new website.

"I couldn't believe it," admits Kau. "For years, direct mail by itself was the engine that drove our business, but now I'm a believer that it takes direct mail plus the Internet."

ADL's marketing has now expanded to include PPC advertising. After just a month, these paid search efforts are bringing in business at a fraction of the cost of direct mail. While PPC hasn't been able to deliver the volume of applications ADL needs to survive, the activity generates enough audition applications between direct mail campaigns to keep the pipeline of inquiries fresh.

 

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Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

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First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
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About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....

ORDER NOW

 

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON SEARCH >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

(PDF Download)

Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

<b>In <i>"The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising" </i> from DirectMarketingIQ, the roadmap to that "perfectly integrated mix" is thoroughly laid out in over 130 pages -- <u>it's specifically created (and priced) for nonprofits</u>. </b>
  
First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
• Figure out that you're doing right — via testing and results measurement 
• Use all the pieces of the multichannel puzzle  

Second, in 8 robust case studies, find out the secrets behind multichannel fundraising campaigns that worked.

About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....

ORDER NOW

 

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