Home of the third largest jazz collection in the world, the public radio station KCSM-FM was in dire shape a few years ago. It was deep in the red and averaging only $40 gifts per donor.
By most accounts, their direct mail program was lackluster. So in 2008, the radio station hired a new direct marketing agency, Goodman Marketing Partners (GMP), to overhaul their direct mail. That year, they launched a new campaign that featured a #10 package with a personalized t-shirt premium to their existing or past donors.
It did gangbusters, with an 8 percent response rate.
Then in 2009 they changed the offer from a t-shirt to a tote bag, which was still personalized with a jazz image like before. So, same campaign idea but a different premium ... and it bombed.
This year, they returned to a t-shirt premium campaign, but with a twist: A postcard format with a personalized URL. As Carolyn Goodman, president and creative director of GMP, said, "Now that personalized URLs have traction and we've seen them work for other clients, let's give a p-URL a try."
Put the new direct mail campaign back on track, and hopefully return to 2008 donation levels.
Reduce the cost of the package by using a postcard, yet utilize personalization as well as a personalized URL to boost campaign results.
Capitalized on audience development efforts (which included a Facebook profile for the station to drive people to KCSFM page).
Increase the size of the list by going after cold prospects.
Up the donor ask to $80 in order to receive premium.
Help put the radio station in the black for the first time.
Creative and Design:
Piggybacking on the successful personalization efforts of the 2008 campaign, GMP again designed a new free Jazz t-shirt (with minimum donation) but this time decided to complement the personalized t-shirt with a p-URL.
A 6" x 11-1/2" four-color postcard was used, with both sides personalized. The front featured the radio station in the corner card (Jazz 91.1 KCSM-FM) and then a trumpet blowing out famous jazz names like Freddy Hubbard and Miles Davis, music notes and, in larger type, the full name of the donor prospect.
On the back, descriptive copy, the t-shirt premium and the personalized URL (shown in two different places) is used. Copy is headlined by "Commercial-free jazz. It's got your name written all over it." This is followed by smaller copy, "Recognize any of the jazz legends on the flip side of this postcard? If so, you'll love listening ..."
After these two short paragraphs, the offer is made: "Make a donation of $80 or more by June 30, 2010 and we'll send you a t-shirt and honors .... We'll imprint your name on the back ..." Then it reads, "Order your personal KCSM-FM jazz t-shirt now at: [p-URL]"
Instead of sending targets to a generic landing page to make their donation and order their t-shirt, the marketer embedded the recipient's name in the URL.
In all, much less copy was used compared to the #10 package in 2008. "If you bog this down with copy, you will miss the key message: 'If you love jazz, support this station. Give us $80 bucks or more and get a t-shirt.' It's simple," describes Goodman.
Deployment and Results:
Mailed 23,500 pieces — about 8100 were past donors and the rest (15,400) were cold prospects. Roughly, 80 percent were local (from the greater San Francisco Bay Area).
Results were very positive. 232 unique hits to p-URLs, which is almost 1 percent. 188 click-thrus (which is 81 percent). 79 donations, 78 of which were over $80 per gift.
Cost was lowered by 12 percent on the outbound package.
Will run this campaign again right before Christmas, with a p-URL.
Station just announced that they'll be in the black this year for the first time in years.