A Premium That Hits Prospects' Sweet Spot
Every year the marketers of USA Today Sports Weekly drop two major mailings to recruit sports enthusiasts as subscribers. One mailing goes out just before football season, and the other just before the baseball season begins. In the past, those mailings included giveaways such as footballs or hats for paid subscription orderstchotchkes that typically bring in a decent response.
This year, however, Ted Chase, senior manager of marketing and sales, says his company wanted to offer something different, something that really would pique the interest of recipients and, hopefully, stimulate a larger response.
"We wanted to go outside of the box and offer the type of gift you can't get just anywhere," says Chase. "That's when we came up with the idea to give away a personalized Louisville Slugger miniature pro bat that could be engraved with the recipient's name and his or her favorite team logo."
This mailing featuring the baseball bat premium was sent out in early March, just before the start of baseball season. It is a four-color, 81/2" x 11" self-mailer folded to an 81/2" x 51/2" large postcard size that highlights the bat and the benefits of becoming a Sports Weekly subscriber (255SPOWEE0304). It includes a postage-paid BRC as well as copy urging readers to save time by subscribing online.
"We wanted a larger postcard so that we could show our product and premium in four-color as big as we could," he says.
According to Chase, the results have been astounding. "This is our best campaign in the past three years," he says. "I think finding just the right kind of gift to give awayone that true baseball fans would really wantmade a difference for us."
Chase says this mailing has been tested against the controla non-premium postcard pieceand beat it. He adds that in addition to the unique premium, a different mailing size and creative style were used to draw attention.
"This mailing is also unique in that we hit our baseball collectible lists harder than usual. Usually people on those lists are diehard fans who know their baseball," he explains.
That demographic fits perfectly with the older, more sophisticated audience of Sports Weekly. "Our demographics are skewed toward an older audience interested in statistics and more detailed information," says Chase. "We have great photos, but a lot more editorial than other sport publications."
As far as mail-in orders versus online orders, Chase says Sports Weekly is experiencing 25 percent more orders online. "That's probably because it's faster and because people don't want to put their credit card information on a mailing without an envelope."
While fulfillment challenges always are present with personalized premiums, Chase says Sports Weekly is pleased to work closely with Louisville Slugger in minimizing those challenges. Chase adds that this mailing has gone over so well that Sports Weekly probably will use the same premium for future efforts.