This case study is shared by the U.S. Postal Service. The name of the client is not disclosed, but the details and results of the campaign are. Let’s take a look...

We all know how difficult it is to get companies to talk about the results of even the best direct mail campaigns. Often this is because the results are so good that they don’t want to let competitors in on their secrets. So when you find a great case study, it’s marketing gold.

A leading brand offers a snack subscription service that delivers high-quality snacks made of wholesome ingredients to customers’ mailboxes. As with all subscription services, the challenge is keeping customers engaged. The company wanted to win back customers who had let their subscriptions lapse and to test different offers and different marketing channels to see which worked best.

In Phase One of the campaign, the company developed two mailings, each with a different offer. It ran these campaigns both by direct mail and by email.

  • Group 1 received offer A: “50% off the first and second snack box.”
  • Group 2 received offer B: “Two free snacks in the first and second snack box.”

The mailings included custom URLs added to both the direct mail pieces and the emails to track response. The most effective offer would then be used in Phase Two.

The results? The direct mail test campaign showed “significantly higher” response rates and renewals compared to the email-only offer.

  • 60% of the customers who received offer A via direct mail resubscribed, compared to 26% who received the same offer by email.
  • 41% of customers who received offer B via direct mail resubscribed compared to 24% who received the same offer by email.

Offer A (the 50% discount offer) outperformed Offer B, the free snack offer. In the case of offer A, direct mail outperformed the email by 230%. In the case of Offer B, direct mail outperformed email by 170%.

Direct mail costs more than email, but the results speak for themselves. Especially with high-value products and those with high lifetime customer value, the investment can pay itself back in spades.

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