Samples Whet Prospects' Appetites
The typical effort for a card continuity program involves an envelope or polybag to hold the sample cards, which demonstrate the quality of the product and give the prospect the chance to start the collection with the acquisition mailing.
While the now-defunct Time Life Books mailed many magalogs to sell its book continuities, it is rare to see a self-mailer format for a card continuitywhich is why this magalog received in September from Southern Living for its Five-Star Recipe Collection continuity program stands out.
The 8" x 11", four-color magalog features a letter and an order card printed on card stock, plus two sample recipe cards bound into the center of a 20-page form (103SOULIV0901). The offer is for recipe cards, divider cards, a menu card, a binder, a kitchen secrets chart, a chocolate recipes cookbook, plus an electric mini-mixer for meeting the 10-day response deadline (although no specific date is listed.)
According to Rebecca Lipscomb, promotions copy chief at Southern Progress/Oxmoor House, magalogs have been used to promote this product for some timewith and without recipe cards. The most current test for this continuity program is a magalog versus a polybag, and both include sample recipe cards. because of the timing of this September mail drop, it was too early for Lipscomb to tell which package pulled best.
She also was waiting for conclusive results on a second test that dropped in September, which involved a bookalog, with and without small recipe cards. The bookalog promoted a book product, not a continuity program, so the recipe cards were more like freemiums.
Lipscomb says that she never tested the idea of samples in a bookalog before, for no reason other than none of the creative teams had suggested it. It was not a production issue either, she adds.
"It wasn't so cheap that we said, 'just do it,' but it's not so expensive that it is cost-prohobitive," Lipscomb says. For this recent test, she explains that the recipe cards priced out at the right place to make testing viable.