A Canada Post Incite Case Story: Newspaper Uses Direct Mail to Put Familiar Feel Back in Former Readers’ Hands

The mailing  to former readers of  the Sydney Morning Herald achieved a response rate of over 9%.

A Canada Post Incite Case Story: Newspaper Uses Direct Mail to Put Familiar Feel Back in Former Readers’ Hands

Opening a newspaper, inhaling the aroma of ink, feeling the roughness of newsprint and hearing the pages rustle remains a cherished custom for many. Newspaper subscribers are dedicated to the sensory experience and connected to the physical medium, even if they don’t realize it.

The Sydney Morning Herald harnessed this unique power of print in an innovative direct mail campaign to win back these lapsed subscribers.

The publication targeted customers who had actively unsubscribed and not responded to a combination of four standard letters and marketing emails.

A new approach leveraged the insight that digital alternatives don’t offer the same tactile experience and ritual as the newspaper.

To let recipients relive the sensation of opening a newspaper, the Morning Herald printed its subscription offer on a recent front page and mailed it to former subscribers. A personalized greeting on the envelope teased them into opening it. Inside, the front-page pitch included evocative messaging, “You only really know how much you enjoy something when it’s not there anymore.”

The first mailing to more than 18,000 customers achieved a response rate of over nine per cent. Ongoing weekly communications converted at six per cent – a huge increase compared to an average response rate of 0.9 per cent for the last win-back campaign.

Now that’s news that makes sense.

COMPANY: Fairfax | PRODUCT: Sydney Morning Herald | COUNTRY: Australia | AGENCY: MercerBell | TEAM: Executive Creative Director: David Bell | Senior Art Director: Paul Critchley | Head of Copy: Simon Gaffney | Graphic Artist: Cathy Bignell | Senior Production Manager: Lex Tully | Account Director: Iain Griffin | Account Manager: Jess Rix

Have you discovered Canada Post’s Incite Magazine? It’s full of great stories and examples from around the world about great marketing campaigns that also make smart use of direct mail. You can subscribe to Incite for free.