Time Inc. recently launched a publishing experiment called Mine, which combined reader-selected sections from eight of its publications with personalized ads run by one major advertiser (Lexus for this go-around). This publication is attempting to mimic the RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds in printed form that are so popular on the web.
The standard rule in direct mail testing is to roll out your control to the majority of your list and send a smaller panel of test packages to compare results. That's the safe bet, putting most of your eggs in your previously top-performing direct mail basket.
Renewal series add regular cash to your coffers and build loyal, long-term relationships. Yet many publishers ignore them or consider them an afterthought, lavishing money and creative capital on new acquisition packages instead. They leave easy money on the table, since it costs less to renew a subscriber than acquire one.