Controls

Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary!
October 16, 2014

It was October 1984 when Denny and I launched the premiere issue of Who's Mailing What! Back then, it was a paid newsletter that analyzed direct mail and included a members-only archive service.

Progressive’s Strong Branding Makes a Personal Connection
September 11, 2014

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that "Flo" — the pitch woman for Progressive Insurance — is almost impossible to ignore. She's been the star of the company's TV and radio ads since 2008. And, since 2011, a direct mail package heavily featuring her smiling face has been driving traffic to the company's website and telephone representatives. This piece is one of the latest Grand Control mailings tracked exclusively by Who's Mailing What!

Turning Tragedy into Action!
August 14, 2014

Jim Brady, the former press secretary to Ronald Reagan died Aug. 4, 33 years after he was shot in an attempted assassination of the president. A week after his death, a direct mail appeal came across my desk from the Brady Campaign. And while it is a good effort, nothing can compare to the powerful, dramatic and honest words of Jim Brady himself in the long time Grand Control mailing from the Brady Campaign.

Testing Equals Success for Catholic Relief Services
March 27, 2014

When you're trying to "rev up your response," as copywriter Pat Friesen once put it, testing various bells and whistles can make a big difference. That's one of the keys to the success and evolution of the "EMERGENCY APPEAL" package for Catholic Relief Services. It's been in the mail for over seven years, one of over 1,500 Grand Control mailings (in the mail for three years or more) cataloged by Who's Mailing What! Because CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, the guardian angel medallion pictured on the front of the #10 carrier (see the first image in the mediaplayer) seems to perfectly represent the secular and sacred nature of the group's mission.

Copy and Design Team Up to Create a New Control From Danbury Mint
February 27, 2014

"Midnight Spell" — a strand of cultured black pearls offered by Danbury Mint has been around for a few years. But the current 6"x9" black envelope package received by Who's Mailing What! is hereby declared the winner and a new control package worth studying. Join Direct Marketing IQ's President and Publishing Director Peggy Hatch as…

Easy Sell vs. Tough Sell: The Anatomy of Two Direct Mail Controls
February 13, 2014

When an envelope arrives in the mail, it could be personal correspondence from a friend or relative. Or it could be a piece of direct mail trying to sell you something. In either case, a letter is de rigueur — normal, customary, socially obligatory. I recently reviewed two control mailings from Harvard Women's Health Watch and Learning Strategies. The letter from Harvard Women's Health Watch is textbook correct, whereas the letter from Learning Strategies breaks all the rules.

Wounded Warrior Project Purple Heart Control
January 30, 2014

Control mailings are controls for a reason — they work. And it's easy to see why the Wounded Warrior Project's Purple Heart direct mailer has reached control status. Joe Boland, managing editor of FundRaising Success, breaks down this control package from Wounded Warrior Project, highlighting all the elements that continue to make this mailer a…

2013 Fundraising Grand Control of the Year
January 16, 2014

When a control mailing has been in the mail for three years or more, it's worth looking closely at this "Grand Control" to see why it succeeds in making money or, for a nonprofit, in attracting donors. Paul Bobnak, DMIQ Research Director and Who's Mailing What! Archivist, breaks down a membership acquisition effort from the…

What Is a Control?
November 12, 2013

Paul Bobnak, research director of Who's Mailing What! (the most complete library of direct mail and email in the world), takes a look at what a "control mailing" is and why it's important for direct mailers. One of WMW's many features is the ability to track controls in over 220 categories of mail. Learn more…

Magazine/Newspaper Controls in 2013*
October 31, 2013

Magazine/Newspaper Controls in 2013* Bloomberg Businessweek Sports Illustrated Wall Street Journal Forbes Magazine Money Magazine Harvard Health Letter Nutritional Action Healthletter Consumer Reports Harvard Business Review The Nation *Based on repeated mail pieces (controls) that were most frequently mailed, as recorded in Who's Mailing What!