All-Star Direct Mailers Answer a Few Key QuestionsMarch 22, 2012 by Ethan Boldt
On Feb. 29, two recognized figures in the direct mail field electrified the audience during a webinarentitled "Copywriting & Design All-Star Session - 2012 Best Practices for the Direct Mail Envelope, Letter, Brochure & Reply Form." Ken Schneider and Elaine Tyson discussed how to improve direct mail performance and, specifically, how to overall the "Big Four" — the envelope, letter, brochure and reply form — with new ideas, techniques and maybe even formats.
While many questions were tackled during the session, some were answered afterwards individually. Here's some top questions that were posed by listeners, with both panelists answering:
1. Please comment on the response rate for window envelopes vs. individually addressed envelopes with no window.
Tyson: I don't really have benchmark data for window vs. closed face envelopes. I do know for Chief Executive, the closed face, personalized approach lifted response by more than 35 percent. I think a lot depends on the market. Consumers react differently to advertising mail than high ranking business executives whose mail is screened by assistants.
Schneider: My experience is that window envelopes always out-pull envelopes with no windows.
2. For Elaine, does she have an example of a Quiz OWE/Involvement?
Tyson: I do have an example of an envelope with a quiz on it (see scan in the media player). Consumer Reports used to use one, too. The trick is multiple choice (check one) or asking two or three short questions to which the answer is ( ) YES or ( ) NO. Less is more.
3. How long do you use a control piece to the same audience?
Tyson: Your control package is mailed to the same audience until you test something against the control that significantly increases response. Significant to me would be a lift of 10 percent or more.
Schneider: We keep mailing controls until they show some kind of fatigue or a test package beats them.
4. I work on DM for audiences over the age of 65. What can you recommend for successful DM to this audience, other than appropriate graphic adjustments?