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Strategies for effective marketing remails.

I'm assuming that most newsletter marketers were in the mail recently in the prime time period of "right after Christmas."

So, now, what are the best plans for remailing? No one has ordained that you have to wait months before going back into the mail to the best prospects.

Model One

The traditional model is to check the post-holiday results and mail again around May. Plan another drop just past Labor Day. That's a typical scenario for many b-to-b newsletter marketers. Three times a year to the best lists--leaving aside such considerations as forced free trials and list testing.

Model Two

Why not be more aggressive with remails? DM consultant Rene Gnam says an immediate remail of a successful package will bring in 65 percent of the original results. Of course, if the previous mailing returned just $1 per $1 in cost, you might not want to remail for 65 cents. But if it did well, why not remail?

Always remember the bromide that orders you don't get today (from immediate remail) are gone forever. They aren't "replaced" by orders received from later mailings.

Remail strategies

Here are some considerations for remail strategies:

* Drop 30-45 days after the initial mailing--about as quickly as you can analyze early results, print, and remail.

* Use a condensed version of the original mailing. Leave out the brochure and/or editorial premium bucksheet. Cut the six-page letter to four.

* Caption the envelope "Second Notice" or "Final Opportunity."

* Remind prospects that you have contacted them previously.

* Choose only the best lists from the first mailing.

* Use the stripped-down packages as inserts in compatible publications.

* Send 1C or 3C postcards. "The offer we sent you is still good through February." This suggestion is controversial, however. Some marketers believe follow-up postcards are useless.

A different version

Here's a slightly different version of a remail. For years Agora's International Living has remailed their #10 control package, "Retire Oversees," complete and entire in a brown Kraft #11. Inside, along with the #10 package, is a one-page letter stating. "This is a very unusual letter. I'm concerned you have not had a chance to review the enclosed letter ... in the past you may have received an invitation from us. However, I am quite sure you have not received one recently."

FFTs

Back to forced free trials. It's generally agreed that once a year is as about as often your can remail FFTs to any individual list. (If you did two a year, you'd be sending 8-10 free issues a year to prospects.) It has been observed, however, that if you could successfully increase the frequency to once every 10 months, you would gain an additional FFT ever five years (six vs. five).

When he published Communication Briefings, Don Bagin had a similar philosophy. The Briefings people made sample-issue packages work (for the record these were compiled issues, rather than actual ones). They went to their best lists as often as four times annually but at least once a year, Bagin noted, with a non-sample package.

Otherwise, he worried, propects would be getting so many issues free as samples that they might believe they pretty much "had" a subscription.

For copy creativity, the legendary copywriter Bill Jayme liked to say that there was no better copy platform for the first piece in a renewal series than "Last Chance" for the special two-year deal or whatever.

Modifying this for remails, when he was publishing the print version of The Baseball Forecaster--it's now only online--Ron Shandler had a successful self-mailer headlined "The Final Reminder" and "Your Last Chance" which, when reading inside the copy, didn't actually appear to be the final or last anything (except to "subscribe now" and get the "annual forecast issue" as soon as available).

But it worked.
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Title Annotation:DM Notebook
Author:Goss, Fred
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Jan 31, 2005
Words:627
Previous Article:"Rocket" Ray Jutkins's opening 7 of his 99 DM creative ideas.
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