10 International Direct Mail Tests (895 words)
International Airline Passengers Association
•The International Airline Passengers Association books air travel and negotiates hotel rates for international business travelers. It also offers six levels of travel accident insurance for all types of transportation. The current control listed the six levels of insurance on its order form, starting with the lowest level with the remaining five in ascending order. In the test package, the copy was flipped and the highest, most expensive insurance was listed at the top of the order form with the remaining levels listed in descending order. The test package saw a 24-percent lift in Europe, a 30-percent increase in the Middle East and a 9-percent decrease in Africa.
•In another mailing for its travel accident insurance, IAPA measured response to several offers in Europe and the Middle East. It tested its control with standard pricing against a 15-percent discount off the standard rates and its standard pricing with a premium. The premium was a diskette containing a database of 5,000 hotels offering discounted rates. In Europe, the test package with discounted rates pulled better than both the control and the premium. In the Middle East, the premium beat the control, while the discounts depressed response. "It has been our experience in the Middle East that discounts cheapen the product," explains Steve Pinches, IAPA's general manager.
•Due to the rising cost of paper and international postage, IAPA was looking to decrease its costs to create and mail its package. By using a lighter paper stock, it reduced the package from 51 grams to 35 grams without losing any elements (an outer envelope, return envelope, one-page letter and color leaflet). The result: Response wasn't significantly affected, but IAPA's return on investment (ROI) increased because the cost to produce the package decreased.
National Geographic Society
•The National Geographic Society had successfully used a world map as a premium in its international control for two years. To see if it could save on the additional postage required to mail the premium, it tested the package minus the premium and deleted all premium references from the offer and envelope teaser copy. The test mailing experienced a drop of 20 percent in response rates. Even after tallying the production savings gained by omitting the premium, the test was still a loser.