Inflation Affects the Little Details
We remember when customer and market surveys arrived with a crisp $1 bill attached. That was maybe six or seven years ago, when it was still a big surprise to find money in your advertising mail. About two or three years later, marketers upped the ante another $1, since the value of a single no longer carried as much weight with consumers.
Of course, it's more awkward to enclose multiple $1 bills in a direct mail package, and your quality control for exactly how many dollars get stuffed in each envelope becomes more challenging. Enter the $5 bill as the most recent price of getting a survey response. One of Inside Direct Mail's contributing editors received a subscriber survey from W magazine in May of this year. Enclosed with the rather lengthy eight-page survey and a one-page letter was a brand new $5 bill.
The survey appears to be a competitive research project, as many of the questions deal with how W, an upscale fashion and beauty magazine, fares against other leading women's magazines in the same category. Editorial content is another main focus of the survey, as is gathering demographic data about the subscriber.
Because of the length of the survey, it's likely that it will take $5 to get one of today's pressed-for-time women to answer. But just in case the upfront payment doesn't provide enough incentive to mail back the survey, W adds a shopping spree sweepstakes at the subscriber's chosen store to encourage her to respond.