‘Old’ Direct Mail Tactics Still Work to Acquire New Customers

The teaser on the outer of the Grand Circe Cruise Line mailing begs to be opened.

Once opened, the mail recipient can learn about the referral program and how to earn a free trip.

The Economist offers a free month of the magazine when you refer a friend.

What marketers used to call MGM—or Member-Get-A-Member—efforts are as old as the hills, but they’re effective when done right. If you have happy customers who love your products or services, ask them to refer a friend or colleague. Usually the person referring gets a reward of some kind, and the person being referred gets a goodie as well.

Grand Circle Cruise Line has a terrific example of a MGM in a recent direct mail piece. The teaser on the outside of the double-postcard reads: “Your ticket to a FREE TRIP …” The mention of a free trip certainly makes the recipient want to check out what’s inside. Once the piece is opened, a boarding ticket pokes out of an inner pocket, and is personalized with the recipient’s name, departing from the recipient’s home town with an arrival to “Your Dream Destination”

Also included are personalized cards naming the recipient as a “Vacation Ambassador,” which can be distributed to family and friends. This provides a $100 discount, while the original recipient of the mailing earns rewards as well.

Another example of an MGM is an email from The Economist—described as the most trusted source for global news analysis. The message is clean and straightforward. “Tell your friends about the Economist and get a free month!”

So, if you don’t have an active MGM program running, get cracking and put it on your “to do” list today!

Peggy Hatch is the president and publishing director of Direct Marketing IQ and Who’s Mailing What! Reach her at phatch@napco.com.

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