Nightingale-Conant Goes Grandiose
Deciding how much copy to use on your outer envelope has a lot to do with the product you're trying to sell and who you're mailing to. Is your product subtle or does it shout?
Nightingale-Conant, creator of products for personal development, spiritual growth, wealth-building, mind development and wellness, chose to shout on the outers of two mailings that surfaced in March in the Who's Mailing What! Archive. It's a move that makes sense when considering that it positions both products as "breakthrough."
The first mailing offers a 30-day free trial of a nine-CD program, "Speaking the Lost Language of God: Awakening the Forgotten Wisdom of Prayer, Prophecy and the Dead Sea Scrolls" (Archive code #733-171965-0503A). The mailing is enclosed in a 6" x 11" outer envelope with copious copy on the face reading:
Is it possible that scientists have finally confirmed what Ancient Spiritual Texts have stated since the beginning of time?
Look inside for the surprising answer ... plus see how you can use the latest scientific discoveries to heal your body and even bring peace to the nations of our world.
Inside, the mailing includes a 51/2" x 101/2" order card, a 7" x 10" folded lift note, a 12-page, 81/2" x 11" letter, and a BRE.
According to Sara Pond, creative director at Nightingale-Conant, the mailing, first tested in September 2003 and rolled out as the control in December 2003, originally was intended to go to current spiritual customers, but did so well that it ended up mailing to a broader audience.
The second mailing by Nightingale offers a free, 30-day trial of a six-CD program titled "The Highest Level of EnlightenmentTap the Database of Consciousness for Total Self-Realization," and features a teaser on the outer that begins, "Spiritual Power Breakthrough!" (Archive code #733-171965-0503B). The mailing includes the same style and size elements as the "Speaking the Lost Language of God" package, the only difference being the letter, which is a trimmer six pages in length.
According to Pond, this format is one example of a variety of "templates" Nightingale-Conant uses for its direct mail efforts. What tends to vary among the mailings it sends out is the amount and type of copy used on the outer, with some using teasers and others mailing blind, with no copy except the Nightingale-Conant logo and a meter.
"All of our outer envelopes convey a different message," says Pond. "Some work well as blind, some work with little copy, and some work best with long copy."
To figure out which strategy works, Nightingale-Conant does outer envelope tests for the initial test mailing and then rolls out the winner. "My experience has been that regardless of the length of copy, the outer envelope 'winner' is the one with the strongest copy or the one that makes the prospect open the package. I have mailings where the blind copy beats one with a headline," adds Pond.
In fact, she says the "Speaking the Lost Language of God" mailing initially tested against a blind outer, and while the teaser outer pulled 32 percent better than the blind, both mailings actually exceeded initial test expectations.
In the end, the main goal of each mailing, says Pond, is to relay the unique selling proposition of the product while differentiating it from the other products Nightingale-Conant sells, and both mailings have performed well in that regard.