Global-A Victory for Direct Marketing in Germany (645 words)
Co-op in the United Kingdom
A familiar blue envelope has made its way to the United Kingdom. Hoping to achieve the same brand recognition it enjoys in the United States, Cox Target Media is testing its first overseas Val-Pak mailing.
For the U.K. launch, Cox tweaked the successful domestic cooperative direct mail program rather than re-invent it. As such, the U.K. Val-Pak program mirrors the U.S. program in all but a few ways. For example:
• The U.K. co-op is sent unaddressed to post code subsectors using Royal Mail's door-to-door service.
• The outer envelope, which uses the brand image of its U.S. counterpart, has been slightly altered for a British audience: "U.K." has been added to the Val-Pak logo and the symbol for the pound sterling appears in lieu of the dollar sign.
To select the geographic area most desirable for its test mailings, the marketer identified post codes with high concentrations of its target audience: households with high levels of disposable income that allow numerous lifestyle choices. The geographic and demographic data was overlaid with the geographic data of small, local businesses. Following analysis of the data, Yorkshire was selected as a test community.
According to Cox commercial manager Carmel Keddy, who heads up the U.K. Val-Pak program, consumer response to the initial test mailing in Yorkshire has been good, with the best and simplest offers generating the most response.
To measure response, Cox relies on reporting from participating businesses, which have been encouraged to count the number of vouchers redeemed. The co-op mailer also is running contests and including entry forms within the pack; it is tracking the entries to see where it is pulling the most response.
The mailer also is conducting a household survey by phone. Approximately 320 of the 30,000 households that received the Val-Pak mailing were phoned. More than 90 percent of the households that recalled receiving the pack admitted to having opened the envelope. Ten percent of these households indicated they intended to use a voucher from the mailing.