3 Tests to Update the Mailbox
What have you done for your prospects lately? Using gifts to light the spark of interest in a mail piece is one of the oldest practices in the direct mail world, but this approach may need a little updating in your next planned campaign to get the results you're looking for.
Here are three tests worth doing before pushing out the next campaign.
Premium vs. Freemium
OK, it's not the Bears against the Packers, but there are some similarities. The rivalry goes back a long way, both sides deserve a lot of respect and many people are split on which one will get the job done better. (I'm a Bears and premium guy, personally.)
The freemium, of course, is what's given up front, in the package, such as a bookmark, address labels, calendar, etc. The premium is usually given on the back end, and usually is more high-end. Items like a fleece jacket, an umbrella, a book or clock are just a few examples.
Testing one against the other opens the door to various questions, such as how can a mailer know it's not simply a great gift that's attracting response rather than when it's sent? And do freemiums cheapen an organization's image in the mail and create the "keep gift, toss mailer" kind of prospect?
Bottom line: in this test situation aim to determine if ROI is best achieved with a free gift physically in the mailing, or whether you're getting enough orders to offset the extra costs of a premium and its postage. Save the "But which gift is the best?" for later.
Matching to Offer vs. Matching to Prospect
Our industry has bandied on this subject for years, but there never seems to be one conclusive answer to the eternal query. According to Judy Mann, president of Providence, R.I.- based freemium supplier Capital Designs, what seems to be happening now is a hybrid born out of branding. "I think your premium can be creative and maybe a little different, but still tie into the organization or the marketing strategy," she says.