5 Big Ideas You Haven’t Tried Yet
The New York Times Best Sellers list has been using the same principle for years. Ironically, once your book gets on the list, it sells better than ever before. I guess it has to be a best-seller to become a best-seller.
4. The Involvement Device
A great example of bringing a big idea back is when Reader's Digest recently added a penny in its package. This idea is more than 50 years old!
The original idea came from Walter Weintz, former circulation director, who mailed a record 100 million pennies as part of a subscription campaign.
The copy said, "Keep one penny for luck. Send back the other penny as a down payment on a subscription to the Reader's Digest."
The results? More than 1 million additional subscriptions in the first year. That's probably why it is testing it again.
Other companies, especially nonprofits, have tested different coins, including nickels and quarters. I've even received $1 and $5 to complete a survey.
But it's the idea behind the penny that I want to focus on—and that's the involvement device. Anything you can put inside a package, or add to an email, that gets people involved will invariably do two things:
- cause them to spend more time with your marketing efforts; and
- increase response
Other involvement devices include stickers and stamps, yes and no boxes on the reply form—anything that gets the prospect to spend just an extra three seconds with your materials.
Dale Carnegie said it best, "Nothing is sweeter to anyone than the sound of their own name."
When personalization first came along, direct marketers understood its power and used it ad infinitum and perhaps even ad nauseam. But do I really need to see my name in every other paragraph? Somewhere along the way, we forgot just how powerful it is.