Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Data Drives Boardroom Revenue
Boardroom publishes newsletters and books to make its 55-year-old and older readers happier, healthier and wealthier. So it stands to reason that the Stamford, Conn.-based health publisher would want to do the same for itself.
That’s why four years ago, Boardroom hired Brewster, N.Y.-based data-driven marketing product and services provider Alliant to create segmentation and modeling solutions aimed at increasing direct mail revenue from its “bill me later” offers. Boardroom chose to pursue payment from non-paying subscribers and listened when Alliant said some of the subscribers Boardroom had eliminated from its lists were actually profitable.
"Alliant has been most successful in helping us to identify lower-scoring names through their models after we complete a merge, and then eliminating those names from the mailing," says Michael Feldstein, associate marketing director. "We have proven this to work by rekeying small quantities of names from lower-scoring segments in order to see if, in fact, we should not be mailing them. And the test results consistently prove that we should be eliminating the names from our mailings. Alliant has also begun scoring house names (including our bad debt file). These [are] names that we feel through our own modeling are not names we should mail. However, by overlaying additional data that they have at their disposal, Alliant has been able to identify incremental names we can mail at a profit."
In a January 2014 mailing, Boardroom omitted poorly performing names and got 73.07 percent to 84.11 percent in payments, depending on the segment.
Those Alliant models allowed Boardroom to find groups that could be mailed profitably, Feldstein says of the January 2014 mailing.
In general, fully paid subscribers number 70 percent to 85 percent, due to the models and segmentation.
As for the customers Boardroom had eliminated from its mailings, Alliant found 12,798 of those "bad debt" names didn’t need to be suppressed for a March 2014 send. Split into two groups, 74.6 percent and 64.4 percent paid up.
Those numbers begin to add up to a healthy bottom line—a concept with which Boardroom is familiar.