Mike Mackin, League of American Bicyclists
Just a couple days after Lance Armstrong sealed his fifth consecutive—and by far narrowest—Tour de France victory, a Target Marketing editor received this perfectly timed membership campaign from the League of American Bicyclists, (shown below), featuring the yellow jersey-wearer himself. We talked to Mike Mackin, director of membership for League of American Bicyclists—a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit working for a bicycle-friendly America—about the finer points of an event-driven effort.
Target Marketing: Were you sweating it out during the last few stages of the Tour de France?
Mike Mackin: We all have great faith in Lance, so … no. Although [had he not won] it would have wreaked havoc with our results, I'm sure.
TM: This mailing was not contingent on Armstrong winning the Tour, but was definitely an event-related mailing. Is there any way to test this?
Mackin: You just have to roll out with it and hope for the best. We tested it last year during the Tour—it was the first time we [mailed] it—and it worked really well.
TM: Do you test different versions?
Mackin: The message is the same, the only thing that changes when we test on this is the premium. We did a small test of two different premiums in the spring: One was Lance-related, and the other premium was not. It just made perfect sense to go with the Lance premium—which performed better—during the tour.
TM: As a cycling nonprofit, does the fact that Lance Armstrong is a cyclist and a celebrity make it easier or more difficult to use him in your mail, as opposed to landing, say, an actor who also likes to cycle?
Mackin: I think it depends on timing. Lance Armstrong in the winter is maybe not as well-known as, say, an actor in the winter. It just so happens that Lance in July with the Tour is about the biggest thing you can have for cycling.