Looking to double sales for their Personal Choice program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin created a new direct response program. They tested two different direct mail options.
The first solution was a traditional mailing package. It made use of a 2-color, 2-sided, 9×6 envelope; a 2-color, 2-sided letter with a detachable response form; and a glossy 4-color, 3-panel brochure. The package also included a 2-sided lift note and a business reply envelope.
Even though they knew traditional direct mail packages with a letter and additional components almost always outperform other mailers, this package was tested against a 3-panel, 4-color self-mailer.
The mailer was designed using straightforward copy and appealing photography. It incorporated a pre-addressed, perforated and postage-paid business reply card for easy response.
The placement of images, headlines, subheads and bullet points led readers through the piece left-to-right to where the offer was featured. In contrast to the glossy brochure in the traditional package, the mailer was printed on matte-finish paper stock.
Coming in at less than 40 cents per piece (list, creative, printing and mail), the self-mailer concept offered an inexpensive alternative to the traditional mailing.
Results: Surprise! The self-mailer out-pulled the traditional mailing package almost 2 to 1—receiving a 2.18% response to the envelope package’s 1.14%.
The self-mailer not only beat the control, but it also exceeded Blue Cross’s weekly lead-generating goal, and at the same time, cost 4 times less per lead (just $17 as compared to $75 for the control).
Let me and my team create a direct mail package to test against yours. I know we can help boost your response. Give me a call at 310 212 5727, or email Caleb at caleb@cdmginc.com.

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