Direct Mail Spotlight: Garden & Gun
Mailed to upscale, higher-income readers in the South-spanning states from Virginia and Maryland down to Florida and over to eastern Texas-Michelson went with his gut and rolled out roughly 160,000 pieces of the Davis Love test package, 33,000 of the control and 32,000 of the other test. Turns out, Michelson's gamble paid off. The Davis Love test beat the control by 19 percent ... and the test with the copy changes actually saw a 13 percent improvement over the control. "As it turned out, I guessed right because the Davis Love one was the most successful of the three panels," Michelson says. "Those two covers that did better on the newsstand directly increased response by 19 percent, so that dramatically had an impact on response. It's one of the things we'll continue to test over time-as we get bigger winners on the newsstand, try to incorporate them and see if that will translate into even a better gross response."
And Garden & Gun doesn't plan on just testing new, higher-selling covers in the future. Since the copy changes also increased response, Michelson will "still continue to tinker with those kinds of elements to see if we can't make it better over time."