Turning new leads into sales: Direct mail strategy doubles conversion rates for successful marketer

 The Marketing Challenge

The Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety is a leading provider of self-care programs and support for individuals with anxiety, stress or depression. Founded 20 years ago by Lucinda Bassett, the center is best known for its successful Attacking Anxiety & Depression program.  After generating thousands of new leads from direct marketing, they faced a new challenge: Converting their new leads into customers.
Past lead-generation campaigns had been disappointing—because many new prospects would request free information or a free trial and never contact Midwest Center again. There was no way to know if they had reviewed the information.
That’s why Lucinda and the Midwest Center turned to Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc. to develop a strategy for maintaining contact with
new leads.

Creative Solution

After evaluating the organization’s current situation, CDMG determined that a follow-up kit and conversion series were needed to accomplish the Midwest Center’s goals.
The multicomponent follow-up kit was developed for customers requesting free information in response to lead-generation ads. It included the following:

➤ Sales letter
➤ Magalog, positioned as a Resource Guide
➤ Lift note
➤ Business-reply envelope
➤ Two versions of a 9” x 12”  at envelope for an A/B test
➤ An audio CD from Midwest Center

The sales letter used personal direct response copy to reaf rm that the prospect made the right decision to request free information from the Midwest Center. The full-color 16-page magalog—that is, a sales piece developed to look just like a magazine—was positioned as a Resource Guide with Lucinda on the cover.
The articles inside told the story of her personal triumph over anxiety and depression and also provided a detailed overview of the self-care program.
Testimonials were prominently placed in the magalog and lift note to engage the prospect, demonstrate the program’s benefi ts and add credibility.
Both pieces also included information about a medical doctor who worked with Lucinda to establish the Midwest Center and develop its self-care programs.

The follow-up kit offered prospects a 30-day risk-free trial for the Center’s program

The kit included:

• Valuable premiums
• A strong guarantee
• The option to order by phone, fax, mail or online

Those who did not order through the kit would then receive installments of a conversion series.  Developed to keep the prospect engaged and focused on the Midwest Center, the  ve-step conversion series included postal letters and emails.
The first mailing urged recipients to review the audio CD from the follow-up kit if they hadn’t already done so. It also included free stress-management tips, a 30-second selfevaluation, a testimonial-driven lift note and a response device.
Subsequent installments continued to make a strong case for the 30-day risk-free trial offer and further illustrated the benefits of the Midwest Center’s program.
Every effort included value, following Creative Direct Marketing Group’s V.I.V.A.™ (Valuable Information, Value-Added) direct marketing system.

Response-boosting Results

Not only did the campaign win a Silver International Davey Award from the International Academy of the Visual Arts, but the response was overwhelming.
The series outperformed the Midwest Center’s control by 100%.