In marketing to pastors of churches, remember that they are among the most skeptical audience you can mail to. Furthermore, they have really tough gatekeepers.
As with business-to-business marketing where you have to get by an assistant, with pastors you have to get by a church assistant.
For a direct mail campaign, I tested two envelopes I had created for my client, Ministries Today. Both versions had a stamp that read “FREE REPORT ENCLOSED: DO NOT BEND.” However, each envelope was designed with different tease copy on the outside to get the prospect to open it.
The “Free Report” was designed to get by the gatekeeper, keep out of the trash, and create curiosity in the pastor to tear open the envelope.
Test: Here is the test – guess what worked best:
Envelope A said in large red letters, “A FREE gift for Christian leaders!”; underneath in smaller black print it said “No cost. No obligation. No strings.”
Envelope B said in red letters, “Billy Graham… Jack Hayford… Tommy Barnett… Mario Murillo… David Yonggi Cho.”
Printed at the same place on both envelopes there was “FREE Special Report” and “FREE self-test inside.”
Which envelope worked the best?
Results: When I give speeches or in-house seminars, I often ask audiences which of the two was the winner. The majority of people guess the one that has the word FREE at the top won. Wrong. The winner, by 36%, was Envelope B.
By using prominent evangelical leaders that the audience recognized, it created a curiosity about what was inside, much more so than the offer of a FREE gift. This again shows the value of testing.
Why do you think Envelope B generated a higher response? Email me at or call me at (310) 212-5727.