Frequency and Simplicity Drive Conversion
Challenge: Increase subscription rates by improving conversion within a trial subscriber program
Solution: Add a three-pronged postcard element to an existing multitouch campaign
Results: The best first quarter in the publisher’s history
One of the strategies Atlanta Business Chronicle (ABC), an Atlanta-based weekly business newspaper, employs to introduce itself to potential subscribers is a trial program, which is comprised of both requested and forced free trial subscriptions that last four to six weeks. The program also includes a few different conversion tactics: cover wraps on the first and last issues, inserts in each issue, a letter mailing, and a phone call at the end of the trial. But, according to ABC’s Circulation Director Ray Brumbeloe, “for the most part, our conversion rate wasn’t huge. It allowed us to get our publication in the hands of decision-makers, which is important to our advertisers, but we would experience somewhere in the 2.5 percent closing rate.”
Looking to improve on these results, ABC partnered with Fulfillware, a full-service direct marketing company also based in Atlanta, and the answer they came up with was simple: Don’t change the marketing plan, augment it. “We are frequency nuts here,” says Fulfillware President and Founder Henry Lewin. “Get the name and the idea in front of folks as many times as you possibly can … at least 10 contact points through a combination of direct mail and other touchpoints.”
And that’s exactly what ABC and Fulfillware did. The existing conversion program was kept as is, but was supplemented with three postcard mailings, timed to coincide with the first three issues of the trial and designed to “educate the reader to find the nuggets of great information inside the newspaper,” explains Erna Schneiderman, the Fulfillware account executive who worked on this campaign. With issues arriving on prospects’ doorsteps each Friday, the postcards followed on Monday. To ensure the timing was precise, Schneiderman explains the postcards were dropped locally on Friday, using First Class postcard postage. “We were able to get pretty much total delivery the next business day,” she states.