Studies show it is easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one. With this in mind, the following direct marketing (direct mail + email) campaign was launched to win back lapsed, small business customers who had not purchased job postings within the previous six months. We tested versions with and without a mail-in rebate, alternating offers based upon span of lapse, expected customer value and timing of when the last time a discount was offered. Frequently included within the inside flap of the mailer was a magnet that served two purposes. The first was to add weight and bulk, giving the recipient the perception that there was something of value inside. The other purpose was to give the recipient a more permanent leave behind to keep CareerBuilder front of mind even when there was not a present hiring need.

Mailers were personalized to direct customers to contact their sales representative to complete the purchase, increasing the opportunity for up-sell. The mail-in rebate allowed the sales representative compensation for the full sale, with rebates built into the marketing cost of the campaign. As expected, less than half of all customers followed through on the redemption after making a purchase.

This program was run continuously for seven years, with alternating creative to avoid fatigue and overlap. In some cases email was paired with direct mail to add a second and third touch, however, many of the businesses we worked with were so small, email was not yet used across the entire target customer group. In more recent years, as businesses and and the use of technology increased we began to incorporate personalized URLs to messaging to drive people to custom landing pages. This step helped us better track conversions and drop-off.

Despite being a very successful campaign that resulted in roughly 20-40 percent ROI – including all rebate payouts – it was discontinued due to the decision to no longer offer discounts on this product. The growth of email use across the same customer base and shrinking budgets also aided in the decision to discontinue the program.

Project role: Creative direction

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See several alternate creative treatments from subsequent campaigns here, here, here and here.