List Vision: Endorsements, a More Powerful Form of Rental
Who you know has proven to be just as effective as what you know for publishing firm Kiplinger and its direct mail prospecting strategies. According to Denise Elliott, vice president of sales and marketing for this publisher of investment newsletters and magazines, marketers can find success in the mail by leveraging a list owner’s brand recognition and integrity to attract new customers. Elliott explained how such partnerships work during the “50 Tips in 50 Minutes” session at last week’s List Vision conference.
Rather than do a straight rental deal of a noncompeting firm’s housefile, Kiplinger works with the list owner to develop a mailing that comes from the list owner but promotes a Kiplinger publication that demonstrates a strong affinity with the partner’s housefile. For example, she says, Kiplinger has partnered in the past with U.S. News & World Report, and received good response to these endorsed mailings.
Of course, such a business deal requires that both companies feel comfortable about the offer, product, messaging and overall public reputation of the parties involved.
In addition to endorsed mailings, Elliott also reported that 9” x 12” formats and the use of “Do Not Bend” teasers still are working in the mail. One caveat on this last tip: Be mindful of Section 601-5.1 of the U.S. Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual, which states that there must be something of value inside the mailing to warrant such notification. Kiplinger has included a list of investment tips in some of its campaigns; other marketers have used bookmarks, address labels, novelty cards and other usable but inexpensive items.