A previous mailing of 1,000 pieces had pulled only two inquiries with no new clients—a 0.2-percent response rate. The new "educational" postcard pulled 250 inquiries from a mailing of 10,000 pieces—2.5-percent response, more than 10 times the previous effort. And more important, many of the inquiries converted into new clients.
"The postcard as a format is, by its very nature, short and to the point," says Gail Coopersmith, president of CLC. "It is terrific at uncovering an initial requirement."
Case Study #4:
Apogee makes model rocket kits for hobbyists and enthusiasts. It did a small test mailing of 500 postcards to sell a Saturn V rocket kit.
Postcards were printed on a digital press. The back shows a four-color photo of the rocket. The digital press allowed each card to be personalized on the front.
"I wanted to make each postcard look like it was handwritten," says Tim Van Milligan of Apogee. "That's why I selected the font used. I also changed the line spacing on each paragraph, and skewed paragraphs because it would look less perfect."
For the short run of 500 cards, the digital printing cost $1 per card. The kits cost $200 each. Of the 500 recipients, 25 people ordered the product—a 5-percent response.
"Would I do this again? Yes," says Van Milligan. "From the response I got, it appeared that the recipients did think the postcards were handwritten."
ROBERT W. BLY is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 50 books, including "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Direct Marketing" (Alpha Books). He can be reached at email@example.com, or visit him on the Web at www.bly.com.