The More, the Merrier
Personalization is pretty common when it comes to letters or freemium address labels. But it is not too often that one sees personalization on a reply sticker&emdash;like in the mailing for Leisure Arts' "Trash to Treasure" book (101LEIART0700).
The book details ways for people to turn old or simple household items into arts and crafts. For example, used milk cartons can become an attractive bird house. In the 81Ú2" x 11" polywrap package for the book, Leisure Arts includes a letter, a "deco page" with pictures of Victorian art for recipients to cut out, a little booklet of free ideas, a lift letter, an insert for a mystery gift, an order card with response sticker and a business reply envelope (BRE). The order card is postcard-size and separates from a poster-size page. The offer is a free 30-day trial of "Trash to Treasure." The copy on the reply sticker on the front of the poster reads "WHY NOT?" with the recipient's name printed underneath, followed by the copy "It's Risk Free!" The sticker is supposed to be peeled off and placed on the reply card, and underneath the space for the sticker, the prospect is told that if her card is among the first 50 drawn, she will receive the Crafter's Cutting Tool Collection. But do personalized response stickers really make a difference?
"Anything with personalization can't be bad," says Rebecca Lipscomb of Oxmoor House, a sister company of Leisure Arts that handles direct marketing for both companies. She says the more people see their own name, the more likely they are to open the package. Also, the process of personalizing the sticker doesn't cost much more, so it's worth the effort. The cost is only $5/M more for personalization. The printing of the name on the sticker is done inline with the address, so there is no extra equipment involved. An Ektajet head simply lasers the name on the sticker.
"It does cost a little bit more, but not so much that it's prohibitive," says Lipscomb. The package has been successful, but Leisure Arts has never actually run a head-to-head test with another sticker. Therefore, the company cannot say for sure that the package owes its success to the personalized sticker, but it certainly doesn't hurt. This package is a current control, but Leisure Arts updates it every year because the book is annual.
The other interesting aspect of the package is the order card. Since it's done in a postcard size and on card stock anyway, why include a BRE? Why not just allow prospects to mail it as a BRC?
"I prefer reply envelopes when the unit allows it, and it doesn't bust the budget," says Arthur Johnson, the copywriter for the package. With privacy issues becoming so prevalent these days, an envelope helps you satisfy all parties.