Asking Around an Event
The Philadelphia Flower Show, produced by The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), is the largest indoor flower show in the world, attracting more than 250,000 visitors to its 10 acres of floral designs and presentations.
The flower show is also the perfect fundraising opportunity for PHS, which has been marketing its membership on the coattails of this event for the past 10 years. Using flower show tickets and behind-the-scenes passes as membership premiums, PHS has seen a good response in the past to its direct mail efforts surrounding this event.
In January, PHS dropped a newly designed package to 170,000 new and renewing members offering discounted membership and tying in free tickets to the early March show. The invitational-style mailing includes a letter, brochure, reply form, reply envelope and a response deadline of Feb. 16 (Archive code #603-693671-0901).
Starting on the 5" x 7-1/2" outer, the mailing is branded with images of sunflowers, reflecting the bella Italia theme of this year's show. "The sunflower was the signature icon for the show, and it was on a lot of our printed materials. So if people were seeing advertising about the show, the sunflower was there, and when people got this piece in the mail, you know it was easy to recognize," comments Suzanne Betts, membership director for PHS.
Recipients are offered membership at household levels, which cost less than $100 and come with free tickets to the flower show. For a higher price point, there are also leadership-level memberships, which come with behind-the-scenes preshow passes to see the show as it's being set up. "Offering a behind-the-scenes tour to the flower show before it opens has been great for us to get people in at that level," Betts reveals.
The membership benefits add value to the membership beyond the flower show ticket premium. "We have a really great menu of benefits, and we appeal to a lot of different people. We have year-round workshops, lectures, great publications, and I think we do a great job of communicating that to our members," she says. Having the benefits listed on several locations on the mailing, including the brochure, letter and reply card, helps reach those recipients who may only pick up one piece of the mailing, Betts explains.