True Wealth’s Self-mailer Success
For a mailer like Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, which publishes in the highly competitive financial newsletter sector, being first out of the gate with a new idea is everything. “When you have a good idea, you start seeing other [mailers] with that same idea, and it saturates people’s minds,” explains Stansberry’s Director of Marketing Sean Carroll.
Although Carroll specifically is referring to the investment themes used to promote Stansberry’s largest publication True Wealth—such as gold, timber and bonds—this sentiment is equally applicable to the creative executions used to support those themes.
An example of this drive to be first in the mail with compelling investment ideas and creative is an effort that arrived in the Who’s Mailing What! Archive in July: a 5-1⁄2˝ x 8-1⁄2˝, 28-page self-mailer styled as a “Research Report and Claims Handbook,” focusing on a way people can earn 10 times more social security (Archive code #270-655873-0607). Historically, explains Carroll, True Wealth has found the most success with plain, white #10 envelope efforts, so this self-mailer format is relatively new for the newsletter. But, he points out, it’s a reaction to what’s in the mail right now: “We thought a self-mailer would be good because we haven’t been seeing many of them.”
This effort is actually the second report-style self-mailer the Archive has seen from True Wealth recently. The first—a larger 8-1⁄2˝ x 11˝ “Investment Preview Briefing” that focuses on China’s government-backed retirement fund—was tested in September 2005 and mailed again in December 2005 and April 2006 (Archive code #270-655873-0604). The April drop fell just shy of breakeven and was retired. This smaller effort was tested in July and rolled out in September.
But while July was the first test of this self-mailer design, Carroll explains the package, like most of True Wealth’s mailings, actually began life as a #10 effort: “Anytime we want to test a new promotion, we do it in that format. Our logic behind that is, we really want to test the copy to make sure it works. … If we can break even with the copy, in the plain envelope, then we know that if we can come up with a good design, then it will give us another boost down the road.” In this case, that design came from Ted Kikoler, who also created the larger effort.