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The joys of an advanced renewal campaign. (Promotion).

In our January 15, 2002 issue Fred Goss devoted his DM Notebook column to "Getting funding for the Advance Renewal National Bank"--inspired, he told me, by my mentioning that The Newsletter on Newsletters was going to undertake a blanket advanced renewal campaign.

I'm now here to report the results, along with those of a friend who did the same thing at about the same time for his $400/year b-to-b newsletter. We, in fact, even exchanged copy to help each other hone our final products.

The offer

Neither of us offered a premium but instead used the tack of, in Fred Goss's words, "Guarantee your savings by locking in the current low price." NL/NL's was, "Now you can 'price freeze' your subscription at last year's prices. Heck, It's the last chance to renew at last CENTURY'S prices!"--after noting that the last price increase was in 1999.

In my first draft of the sales letter, I wrote some boilerplate about how important the newsletter is to publishers, what features are planned, etc. My DM consultant (whom I like to call a genius in this area) struck out all of that and said to just keep to the offer-"'Price freeze' your subscription at last year's prices."

"It's the offer, stupid," he might have put it--the offer on the carrier, in the sales letter, and on what we called "Price-Freeze Offer--Renewal Form.

My friend and I both sent our offers out twice, his in separate mailings and mine included with the newsletter. We both mailed our second efforts about six weeks after the first one.

The NL/NL second mailing was identical to the first except for an added note, printed in blue ink at the bottom of the (one-page, black-on-white) sales letter, "Oops! I didn't give people enough time to respond earlier. Deadline is April 30th.--P.S." That date gave subscribers about three weeks to renew.

The results

Experts say one can reasonably expect a response rate of 6 to 8 percent in an advanced renewal campaign. My friend pulled in a 10 percent response, and I'm happy to say that subscribers to NL/NL posted an 11.5 percent response rate.

We each had our surprises. He said that, unexpectedly, 40 percent of his overall response came from the second mailing. I was equally surprised by 'the number who renewed for two years--one third.

The least I can do in gratitude to you who renewed is to share the results--and to share my enthusiasm for the advanced renewal method for raising quick cash.
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Swift, Paul
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:May 17, 2002
Previous Article:How to respond to inquiries and how to treat those names. (DM Notebook).
Next Article:Conference. (Who, What When & Where).

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