Direct mail in the New Frontier: Here to Stay or Only a Click Away
Speakers: Catherine Carter, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Shelly Felder and Howard Levine, 92nd Street Y, New York City; Rick Lester, Target Resource Group, Woodland Park, CO; Laura Sullivan, Penn State’s Center for the Performing Arts, University Park, PA
In 2006, direct marketers mailed 116 billion pieces of direct mail. Quantity increased by 15% over the previous year, primarily because there is no spam filter to get through or “Do Not Call” list to deal with. Plus many people seem to prefer a tangible, paper offer. Direct mail expenditures in 2006 were $59 billion.
- National response rate for all offers was 2.15%
- On a national average, one year lapsed subscribers had a response rate of 3.3%, traded names 0.14%, rented names 0.05%, and current single ticket buyers 2.6%. It was suggested that it is too expensive to mail to rented names.
- New rule is in place: always step on your offer. Usually you will mail first, then you should follow up with an e-mail solicitation. Houston Ballet sent out a postcard and had a 3% response rate. Then they sent out a postcard and followed up with an e-mail and got a 4.5% response rate.
- Even though people are not responding by mailing in an order form, Target Resource Group has found that people refer to the order panel before they go online. When they removed the order panel, they got a lower response rate.
- A/B test everything. What offers work best, which list segments work, sequence of mailing
- Increase the frequency of your message in front of the target groups which regularly over produce on mailings.
- Nationally 96% of all subscribers come from contacts already in an organization’s database and only 3.5% come from trades, while 0.4% come from rented names. It should be noted that of the 96% of all subscribers within an organization’s database, on average 6% of all subscribers are on the organization’s “do not contact” list.
- We should build a predictive model of people who are likely to respond and then target lists with this predictive model.
- The 92nd Street Y covers events around the country on their website and then they tie it back into their programming. Often other blogs pick up their articles and link back to their website or blog.
- YouTube has now launched a non-profit channel. The 92nd Street Y video was featured as the non-profit video of the week, and had over 100,000 views. YouTube now gives non-profits their own landing page which can be tailored with your graphic identity.
- They also started making restaurant reservations on behalf of their ticket buyers through http://www.opentable.com/.