Direct Marketing in the Land of Oz
"As with any local list market, we recommend that some localization of the offer is made to help make these lists work … a little will go a long way in increasing response," Bridges adds.
Agora's Aussie Style
Agora is one U.S. mailer that has found "going Aussie" greatly boosts response. The publisher has been mailing to Australia as part of its larger, multinational campaigns for some time; however, it didn't start mailing a package exclusively created for the local market until 1998.
Australia was an ideal market to test, because it was easy to modify the package for this English-language market, and the country has a well-developed list universe, says Stacy Berver, managing director of International Marketing Solutions (IMS), a division of Agora Inc.
What's more, in looking at its response by country breakdown, Agora could tell Australia already had a good overall response rate and had the potential to increase. Adopting a local approach also opened its list universe, because it could mail local lists that previously didn't work with pricing in U.S. dollars.
Prior to 1998, the control package for Agora's Health Sciences Institute newsletter was priced in U.S. dollars and used a U.S. return address on both the outbound and reply envelope.
The package was tested against another, with minor changes to the creative, but operationally exclusive for an Australian audience. The newsletter was priced in Australian dollars and used a local BRE and local fax number. Each mailing was a #10 package with a return envelope, eight-page letter, brochure and special alert letter.
The test package beat the control and more than doubled response. Berver says it currently mails this package as its control, and has contracted the services of a local call center to handle response generated by a local phone number it has since added to the mailing. The package mails from the States via the U.S. Postal Service's International Surface Airlift Service, although Berver says she plans to seriously explore direct injection as an alternative.