Sunday, April 1, 2012

Premium v non premium mailings

I am currently in Canada, being overwhelmed with premium data from Italy, Belgium, France and US. It is wonderful! All that data :)

The US data sometimes goes back decades, the European 5 to 7 years and some fascinating stuff.

As per my previous blog, premium acquired donors are shown to respond to non premium mailings - like we found in Australia.  At slightly lower levels than than non premium donors, but there are so many more of them it all works out quite nicely.

But, and it is a big BUT, they respond better to premiums.  Also rather fascinating is that the results all these direct mail agencies' clients get from their non-premium donors - they tend to respond to premiums better too.

In Australia mailing warm donors premium mailings is more challenging than cold for logistical reasons but we are trying to test these findings in the New Zealand and Australian market too.

I do wonder if things will be different here - the other countries are much more 'mature' (ie more charities have been mailing more premiums for longer).  In the US the premium acquired donors really don't seem to do anywhere near as well when sent non premium packs (as per Data Monkey's recent blog) but the level of activity there is massive compared to over here.  The Europeans seem to be somewhere in the middle.

However, Data Monkey also recently quoted  David Hazeltine saying that if premium donors only respond to premiums then send them premiums.  I reckon in ten years or so that could be the case in Australia and New Zealand, but it appears that is not an issue yet.

The Belgians told me that generally, because of the smaller sizes there, they tend to acquire using premiums but then send a mix of 'high value' premiums, 'medium value' premiums and non premium mailings; they have found that increasing the frequency of mailings makes more money.  Their current clients send ten to thirteen warm mailings per annum.

It takes years to test the right combination of premium to non premium warm, and the number of those mailings because of small population and donor pools.  In lieu of a better idea, I wonder if the Belgian approach is the right way to go in Australia and New Zealand too.


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