case study: ANNUAL DIRECT MAIL TESTING
Increase in Response Rate
Decrease in the Cost to Raise a Dollar
Traditionally, appeals that focus on basic needs are strong performers throughout the year. To ensure we are mailing only our most successful appeals, periodically, we will test our control packages against a new design to ensure we are not leaving any donations on the table. The Pantry Gram package had been the control package for over 20 years. Generally, tests are conducted for two consecutive years before a rollout is determined. Our main objective with testing is to increase the response rate.
To achieve this, we developed a test package featuring an urgent response by timeframe along with a free gift offer on the outer envelope. Additionally, the test appeal was a standard #10 window envelope while the control used an oversized 6”X9” envelope. Both packages included a bookmark. However, the test appeal used a standalone piece while the control contained an integrated detachable bookmark. Package design and messaging was the test variable, while our proprietary recency, frequency, monetary value (RFM) strategy and ask strings strategy were the same for both packages.
After two years of testing the Urgent Pantry test package, replaced the over 20-year-old Pantry Gram control package. The test yielded an 8% increase in response rate and an 18% decrease in the cost to raise a dollar. After two consecutive years of winning the test, the Urgent Pantry package rolled out as the new control package in 2021.