DM Spotlight: Consumer Reports
In this era of personalized messaging, direct marketing can become a dicey proposition for organizations that target a vast array of consumers. However, Consumer Reports, the consumer products education and empowerment magazine for consumer advocate nonprofit Consumers Union, uses its popular brand as an independent expert on all products to its advantage in reaching its wide-ranging audience.
In one of its newer direct mail acquisition campaigns, Consumer Reports offers 20 lessons for prospective customers on products ranging from automobiles and cereal to TVs, paint and gas, providing something for just about everyone.
"Your typical direct mail marketing piece would be very focused towards a very specific need or niche," says Jamie Darnow, chief marketing officer for the Yonkers, N.Y.-based organization. "But because we are focused on, in this piece, the general consumer space, we're able to show everything from bananas to iPhones. It hits back to the diverse set of products in our portfolio ... In appealing to the general consumer public, a wide reach is needed to tap consumer interest."
To accommodate just about every consumer out there, Consumer Reports mailed its 10-3/4" x 6" package with the teaser, "Learn these lessons at our expense ..." on the outer along with images of a camera, a car and a box of cereal with smaller teasers accompanying them, along with a "FREE" sticker to peel off and place on the reply card inside (Archive code #202-171635-0904).
The package then folds out into a 12" x 10-3/4" magalog, with more colorful teasers and images below the fold and some more "REAL facts" on the back, along with the beginning of the letter. Inside, the mailing walks consumers through the 20 lessons learned on products Consumer Reports has reviewed along with an engaging letter that starts on page 1, then jumps to page 4 and ends on page 10.