Mailers Take a Licking


Non-profits are fighting postal rates.  Again. And, you know what, it's a battle that'll continue to be waged. I'd argue no one wins in this. Mail is still a good alumni communication channel; particularly with alumni over the age of 50. That's a high net worth and supportive cohort that we want to keep connecting with on their terms.

However, historically, what's been good for some has been sent to all. If we're being honest about the mailers heading out the door to our last 10 (20?) years' alumni, a lot of those very expensive magazines are getting perused by mom and dad or, worse, simply going from mailbox to trash can.

Over the past few months, as our clients have been rolling out their alumni apps with QuadWrangle, we've found that it costs less than two stamps to get an alumni into an app that is always on, always curating content, and always providing value. So, do you stop sending the alumni magazine? Nope. It works REALLY well with certain alumni with your HNW's over-indexing on wanting and reading them. What ideas come to mind as the cost of mail communications continues to escalate and the cost and value of digital engagement continues to expand?

1) Maybe you should spend MORE money on your alumni magazine. Huh? Yep. Spend more per copy, but send a lot less of them. Major magazine publishers follow this model - increase quality and specificity to win more loyal readers. What if your magazine didn't have to speak to everyone, but only to your older/HNW alumni? Would you write different content? Perhaps your older alums would even seek the magazine out more regularly.

2) Transition saved magazine spend to digital marketing. Let's use QuadWrangle's $0.80 per user acquisition cost as a basis for this. If your annual magazine budget is $200,000 and, by sending a more targeted mailer to less people, you drop the spend to $160,000. That additional $40,000 nets you 50,000 digitally engaged alumni.

3) Think about your total media spend the same way large corporations do. There's an entire segment of agencies in the advertising world that do nothing but navigate media spend on behalf of their clients. This year in the US, advertisers will spend roughly $189BN, nearly $60BN of which will be digital spend wherein more than half of digital advertising will be on mobile advertising. Is 15% of your media budget going to mobile? Is 30% of your total spend going to digital? We can learn a lot from companies like Nike and P&G; notably, how to optimize our media mix.

We love talking media here at QuadWrangle, so drop us a line to chat about your media mix and how you might more successfully model your spend.

Nick Zeckets