Direct Mail Spotlight: Real Simple
Have you ever ordered something and waited weeks until the package arrived, only to be wholly disappointed by a lesser item? A cardinal rule in the direct mail industry is to make a clear description of a product or service in a mailing so that, upon delivery, there are no such letdowns.
In the publications sector, converting acquisitions to sales means evoking enough editorial content in the direct mail piece for a prospect to be pleased when the first issue arrives. In particular, slim-jim magalog formats combat customer dissatisfaction with ample real estate to make a strong, accurate editorial sell. The slim-jim also mails at a letter rate—giving it an advantage over the flat packages that were favored prior to shape-based pricing.
Real Simple, a women’s lifestyle magazine, established its 6˝ x 10-1⁄2˝ slim-jim magalog as a control in January of 2007. “We were trying to bring our brand to life in our direct mail, so there should be no surprise between what they see in the direct mail piece and what they end up getting when their first issue arrives,” explains Michelle Garcia, new business marketing director for Real Simple (Archive code #202-637190-0802).
Real Simple first tested the package in late 2005; however, it only elevated the magalog to a control when the piece began to outperform a larger polybag that had been mailing since 2003. “It was actually a combination of both response and cost savings—it lifted net response, and it also reduced our costs. So it worked both levers,” adds Garcia.
The new control features 31 pages, a front cover image taken directly from an issue of the magazine and a back cover with the prospect’s address, a sticker involvement device, a thumbnail image of a past issue and the brand promise, “Presenting the magazine that makes life easier.”