Direct Mail Spotlight: Green America
The package has been mailed five times, in March, June, September, November and January. Just because Spring has arrived at a winning package, that doesn't mean the testing is over. Using small test panels of 15,000 each within its list of 250,000 prospects, the organization tested multiple elements. "We tested elements of this [new] package in the [old] control, like the wallet card and the letter ... and then we tested taking out each of the inserts to see if any of the inserts were unnecessary so we could get the costs of the package down a little," Spring says. Between the November and January drops, there is a new Johnson box test, a test between typed versus handwritten postscripts, as well as the addition of handwritten underlines in the letter, and a brown paper bag-style carrier.
So far the results have been excellent. Spring says the mailing met her goals of 0.84 percent response and a $23.50 average gift every time it dropped. In March alone, it received a 1.26 percent response rate and an average gift of $24.39. "It's done just about that well in every mailing since, so this package is exceeding our goals. And it has raised the bar for next year," Spring notes. The mailing was especially successful with lapsed donors, dating back to 2003, and other marginal lists that had been unresponsive for years.
To weather the current economic downturn, Green America plans to make four acquisition drops instead of five next year. "That keeps our lettershop and merge/purge costs down, because, given the success of the package, we didn't want to cut quantity," Spring explains. She plans to keep the package in the mix for as long as it pulls a healthy response. "In this economy, if we are able to keep this package at 1 percent or above, I will be so thrilled," Spring exclaims. She even pictures future versions tailored to the current climate, with new teasers like "Living Green on a Budget" on the outer's front.