Direct Mail Spotlight: Quilter's Home
Chatty, irreverent, bright and lighthearted sounds like the description of an a.m. talk show host - yet these are the first four words that come to mind when you receive the Quilter's Home magazine acquisition package.
Filled with conversational copy that reflects the tone of the magazine - and bright photographs, cover thumbnails and design treatments - the package makes a strong editorial sell. The best example of its irreverent tone is the copy on the lift note letter that playfully asks about the magazine's editor, "Who the #*@! is Mark Lipinski? (And What's He Doing to Quilting?)."
The package is only the second mailing sent since the publication became available by subscription in October 2007. "We took the success of the magazine [on the newsstand] and moved it into a subscription. We started on the internet in about October of last year, and at the same time were putting together our first direct mail package, which dropped in January," describes Susan Du Bois, vice president of consumer marketing. She says that marketing subscriptions online, on insert cards and in an e-mail campaign to the followers of Editor Mark Lipinski's blog all jump-started the subscription campaign in the fall of 2007 before the first January mailer even dropped.
Du Bois worked with Circulation Director Nicole Martin, and Parise Marketing Group, based in Millwood, N.Y., to develop a package that highlights the publication's unique voice. "This magazine is so very different and just screams of personality ... it has energized the quilting community by saying, ‘Let's make quilting fun again,'" Du Bois explains.
The front of the 6˝ x 9˝ outer features three photos of, and a note signed by, Lipinski, along with the premium teaser copy, "Charter Invitation - Free Preview Issue." On the back, there are three reader testimonials and another premium teaser. All of these elements are enhanced by a light-yellow background design that mirrors the modern, funky accents in the actual publication. Riding inside are a four-page letter, reply card with sticker involvement device and a full-color 11˝ x 17˝ brochure. Each package element is vibrant with cover thumbnails, photos of Lipinski, notes from Lipinski, benefits summaries and customer testimonials (Archive code #202-713812-0807).
Since its first mailing in January, Quilter's Home has been able to increase its rollout and testing. "We sent 150,000 out in January. But because it was so successful, we actually increased that to 240,000 in July, and we had three test panels of 15,000 each," says Martin. In July Quilter's Home tested a hard offer against its soft offer control, the magazine's price point and an added content-based freemium called the "Quilter's Bill of Rights," in addition to the free issue premium.
Response for the January mailing was in the double digits, which Martin describes as fantastic for a soft offer. Du Bois says she is waiting to see if the soft offer or hard offer pays more before designing next January's mailing. Tweaks to the pricing, offer positioning, copy and premium are all possible, and down the road, a more pared-down voucher package may be a feasible test. "We will at some point in time test the voucher because they are a very economical way of getting subscribers ... We need a little bit more brand recognition and a little bit more size and mass before that scaled-down voucher package will have the same type of response," she explains.
Du Bois describes the prime reader as, "A woman who has a fun and youthful approach to life." To appeal to this target market, the Quilter's Home marketers collaborated with the magazine's editor, art director and the folks at Parise Marketing to create an equally fun and youthful approach to the product. Teamwork contributed to the overall success of this package. "It was probably the best collaboration that I've ever had ... and I think that's what you can tell in the results of this package," Martin concludes.