Direct Mail Spotlight: Green America
What's the best way to get inside a prospect's mind? There are surveys, focus groups, market research and customer service centers to collect information about an audience, but sometimes basic direct mail testing is the most straightforward and profitable way to find out which approaches work best.
After mailing a #10 letter package for nearly a decade, Green America, (formerly Co-op America), a nonprofit consumer organization promoting environmental sustainability, finally found a test package in March that obliterated the fatiguing control.
Kelly Spring, marketing and development director for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, describes its constituency as readers and likens membership to a subscription. For that reason, Spring says publication lists tend to work better for Green America's acquisitions than lists from other progressive organizations. The new test package, most recently sent in November and January, works because it provides a deeper look into the editorial benefits members stand to gain, including a newsletter, a quarterly magazine, a green directory and other information-based premiums.
Unlike the previous #10 control with a four-page letter and reply, the test travels in a 6" x 9" kraft outer with a laundry list of teasers on the front indicating the great amount of information enclosed, including recycling tips, home detoxification tips and a helpful grocery shopping wallet card. "We've arrived at a time when people want to learn how to go green, and before they even open this package, it tells them that we're going to give them those answers," Spring enthuses.
Once inside the package, pages spill out in many colors and trim sizes. "We thought that if it didn't look uniform, the effect would be that you'd notice how many things were in there, and it would feel like you had gotten something of value," Spring comments. Included in the mailing are a four-page letter, preview of the Real Green newsletter with article snippets, a recycling tips insert, a toxin alert buckslip with tips relating to a back-end premium, grocery shopping wallet card, reply form with a full list of benefits and premiums, and finally, a BRE (Archive code #601-173196-0811).