Here’s the problem:
This is the story of a respected health and fitness magazine targeting men 21 to 40, with a circulation of over 700,000. The magazine has a sassy attitude and is filled with workout tips, nutrition recommendations and lifestyle articles. Oh, yes, there are articles devoted to sexual conquest. (What did you expect from a men’s magazine?)
First, take a look at this client’s quagmire. (Click on any image below to see it larger in a separate window.)
From the standpoint of attracting the attention of crazed young men, this is a pretty good envelope. However, the reigning direct mail package, produced by a New York-based agency, emphasizes sexual rewards to the exclusion of everything else. The direct mail solicitation receives good response, but many who answer the call don’t renew after a trial run. The package lathers them up then lets them down.
Brent Green & Associates received a challenging assignment to beat the control package and remain truer to a balanced editorial mission.
What would you do? Admit it: The above control isn’t an easy package to beat. Well, here’s our challenger:
We added a brochure that would allow our hope-filled prospective subscribers to learn more about suck-proofing life.
Of course, the brochure actually did offer 10 suck-proofing life tips. (It’s a large broadside, so we can only show you part of the unfolding presentation.)
Our primary letter, written for famed fitness guru Joe Weider, made a no-nonsense value pitch for subscribing …
Our added “lift note,” written for the magazine’s editor, compared the magazine to a high school coach … a powerful motivational metaphor for young men finding their way in life …
A business reply card maintained momentum with a motivating trial offer:
Whereas the original control package appeals primarily to libido, we are taking a broader approach: Read the magazine, suck-proof your life.
Against tough odds, we beat the control and established a lucrative benchmark for the publisher. Our circulation control not only triumphed as the better initial response-generator, our package also proved in time to be much more effective at garnering renewals.
It’s amazing what can happen when a direct mail solicitation captures and stays true to the editorial mission of a magazine.
Call us to discuss how we can suck-proof your next circulation direct mail control package.