Profile - The Utne Reader (1,651 words)
Another 6˝x9˝ effort, sent out in the late '90s asks if you are "Info-Whelmed," with too much to read and keep up with. An image of a kitchen strainer on the back of the envelope blithely explains the editorial philosophy of the Utne Reader. This mailing is a slick, fast-paced effort, geared for the world weary, self-proclaimed intellectual. An example of its slickness is a P.S. at the end of the main letter (from Eric Utne) that reads :
Oh, and don't blame me for the peel-off sticker (referring to the sticker device on the order card). The promotion guru made me do it. Play along, ok?
The top of the letter reads the same: "…I'll send you a free issue of my magazine (admittedly a cheap, unabashed promotional gimmick…)"
Another mailing the Utne Reader has tested is a magalog-style circulation promotion. This package employed the standard offer, but was more image-intensive than the Jayme package, which in-spired with words. The package was expensive to produce and was delayed at the post office because of its size.
None of these efforts were able to beat the control. Should they be considered failures? Not really. The only way to determine the strength of your control is to test it. If another package loses, it confirms your suspicion that the control is working and should be tweaked instead.
The next test is scheduled for June, with a mailing created by an outside firm. According to Gallaher, hope springs eternal, even when you have a package as strong as the Jayme effort.