Sparking Ideas

Recognition For Your Passion

No matter what industry you work in, it is always gratifying to be recognized by your peers for your hard work and accomplishments. It is even more gratifying when that recognition is for something you are passionate about.

For the past three years, my team and I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). We have enjoyed playing our small but integral role as integrated marketing partners, by helping the museum achieve their fundraising and membership goals.

Recently, The Lukens Company (TLC) was awarded two Fundraising Excellence Awards from FundRaising Success Magazine. The first was a Silver Award for our work with AIC on the 2013 Cyber Monday campaign. This generated 1,053 memberships and $87,824 in gross revenue in just one day – almost four times the revenue than the year before! The second was a Bronze Award for the 2013 Year-End Appeal that resulted in $158,895 in gross revenue. By utilizing a multi-channel campaign, we reduced the cost to raise a dollar by 15 cents compared to the previous year-end campaign. 

It is hard to put into words how proud I am of our team for their hard work. I see the passion and effort they put into helping AIC achieve their goals on a daily basis. The fact that they have been recognized by a group of their peers for this is truly humbling. From copywriting to mail production, graphic design to web development, digital advertising, data, analytics, and account management; we couldn't have had a better team working together. And, I’m excited that they received the recognition they deserve! 

All the best, 

Marie Kosanovich | Account Director

The Art Institute of Chicago and TLC Take Home Silver!

The Lukens Company accepted a silver MAXI Award on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago’s 2012 multi-channel membership campaign. The Direct Marketing association of Washington’s awards program honors outstanding achievements in the field of direct marketing. Congratulations to the account team, digital staff members, and AIC for this exciting achievement!

Silver Award – The Art Institute of Chicago Lichtenstein Campaign

In May 2012, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective opened at AIC. Having seen moderate success with a fully integrated multi-channel campaign for a non-blockbuster exhibit in 2011, AIC knew that a similar campaign surrounding this highly anticipated exhibit would have remarkable results.

The campaign consisted of three acquisition/lapsed mailings (January, March and April) and a digital advertising campaign that included cookie matching, which allowed us to target our ads to the same individuals receiving our direct mail package. The mailings were treated as a series rather than stand-alone campaigns with distinct messaging, since mail file analysis showed that historically there has been between 40-60% overlap in names from campaign to campaign. This strategy allowed us to tell a cohesive story not only across channels, but also throughout the direct mail series.

Testing has shown that digital advertising is best done no earlier than one month before an exhibit opens, so digital advertising launched in May. During the final two weeks of the digital campaign, we tested a mobile campaign that featured mobile-friendly short form and long form landing pages. This was done in order to capitalize on the final rush of visitors – record attendance numbers were reached during the final weekend of the exhibition. The mobile campaign was a search advertising-only campaign that targeted the same keywords and geo-targets used in the primary non-mobile digital advertising campaign.

Creative and messaging were consistent across channels – mail, digital advertising, mobile and landing pages. To maximize conversion rates, unique landing pages were created that first collected the users name and email and then directed the prospect to a longer purchase form where the conversion was completed. This allowed AIC to capture 962 email addresses, which would later be used for email follow-up and membership conversion.

The use of cookie matching to serve digital advertisements to a select group of individuals who also receive the direct mail piece makes this campaign truly innovative. Of the 520,000 households in the AIC acquisition file, 325,098 were matched to a cookie. Half were split out for a control group and the other half were served digital ads. Cookie matching alone provided a 50% lift in total purchases from the households who were served targeted ads!

The Lukens Company Takes Home Two MAXI Awards!

The Lukens Company received two MAXI awards at last week’s DMAW Bridge Conference at the Gaylord National Hotel. The Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s awards program honors outstanding achievements in the field of direct marketing and TLC is proud to have accepted many MAXIs over the years. Congratulations to the many team members who helped produce these two successful campaigns!

Silver Award – 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Special Appeals – Anniversary Tube Mailing

2011 marked not only the 10th Anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, but also the opening of the Memorial. With these circumstances in mind, the organization needed to develop an anniversary package with distinction.

In order to do this, TLC developed a tube package that contained a letter, reply, return envelope and 10 ½’ waver American Flag as a front end premium. The 13’ brown craft tube was large enough to draw attention in the mail, but small enough to fit in the average New York City mailbox. The copy reminded supporters to “Always Remember…Never Forget” what happened a decade earlier and thanked them for their generous and continuous contributions to the 9/11 Memorial. It also encouraged them to “proudly display the enclosed American Flag” and to give generously, not only in honor of the 10th Anniversary, but in order to open the 2nd portion of this momentous project – the 9/11 Museum. Donors who were able to make a contribution of $100 or more received a full-size 2’ x 3’ embroidered Commemorative American Flag that was “Made in the USA” as a special back end premium in honor of the role they played in building the Memorial. The package was mailed to a segment of the organization’s house file – the remainder received the #10 SLW statement package with the same back end premium offer.

The 10th Anniversary Tube Mailing response rate was more than double of the statement package and the average gift was the highest of any package mailed to date for the 9/11 Memorial.

Bronze Award – Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation

Special Appeals – Inline Poster Mailing

The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial opened to the public in August 2011. In October 2011, a special post-dedication appeal was planned to remind donors that, even though the Memorial was open to the public, there was still over $3 million to be raised.

After the dedication ceremony scheduled for August 28 was postponed when Hurricane Irene threatened the Washington, D.C. area, many supporters could not make a second trip to attend the rescheduled dedication on October 16. This package mailed in early October, just before the rescheduled dedication.  The Foundation heard from many of their loyal supporters – a significant number of whom are an older demographic – that they would not be able to attend the dedication.  The Foundation wanted to honor the loyal support of their Founding Members with a front end premium poster of the Memorial, which was incorporated into this inline package. 

Enclosed was a letter from the Foundation’s President and CEO thanking members for their support and offering one of three commemorative back end premiums – a watercolor print of the completed Memorial, Stone of Hope miniature replica of the Memorial, or a full-color coffee table book showing the history of the Memorial.

The campaign was the highest grossing mailing for the Foundation post-opening of the Memorial!

The Lukens Company Wins Three 2011 MAXI Awards

It seems as if there is always something to celebrate here at The Lukens Company. And this summer is no different. TLC was proud to take home three silver awards for exceptional work in acquisition/prospecting and special appeals at the 2011 MAXI Awards, presented by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington on July 20 at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor.

Silver Award – The Barnes Foundation
Nonprofit Acquisition/Prospecting – Barnes Founding Member Invite
Capitalizing on press about The Barnes Foundation’s recently unveiled architectural renderings for a new building, TLC and Barnes created an Invitation style package, inviting prospects to become a Founding Member of the New Barnes on the Parkway. Donors who joined at the $250+ level were invited to a special Open House at the Barnes, featuring a tour of the collection and a discussion about the new building in Philadelphia.  As a result of this and subsequent mailings, the Barnes’ membership base has risen to over 10,000 members.


Silver Award - Seattle Art Museum
Nonprofit Acquisition/Prospecting -
Seattle Art Museum Multi-Channel Picasso Campaign
In fall 2010, TLC worked with the Seattle Art Museum to craft a strategic multi-stage, multi-channel campaign with a goal of increasing membership during the Picasso blockbuster exhibition. The campaign consisted of direct mail, online, telemarketing, and email outreach efforts over a six month period – and the results were phenomenal. SAM’s membership levels increased by almost 50% to over 48,500 households. The online advertising campaign was a huge success with over 35,000,000 impressions and 40,926 click-throughs.  

Hear more about this amazing success story at both the ASTC and AAMC conferences this fall!


Silver Award – Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation
Nonprofit Special Appeal – NCR Package
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation had enjoyed success from their “Founding Sponsor” acquisition control package for over six years. The major benefit to these donors was that their names would be permanently displayed at the site on the National Mall. Charged with the challenge of further soliciting the list of “Founding Sponsor” donors, TLC decided to mail an NCR package to the MLK Memorial’s house file. Donors were solicited for an additional donation to the memorial while also being asked to verify the information they were reviewing on the form as it would be the final information entered into the “Founder’s Roll of Honor.” 

The Lukens Company and Clients Strike Gold

The Direct Marketing Association of Washington recently handed out their 2010 MAXI Awards at the annual conference held in Washington, D.C.  The Maxi Awards are awarded for recognition for excellence and outstanding achievement in the direct marketing industry.  In the past, The Lukens Company, in partnership with our clients, has been awarded multiple MAXI Awards . . .

. . . and this year was no different!

This year, The Lukens Company and our clients received three MAXI Awards!

Gold Award - Monterey Bay Aquarium

Acquisition Workhorse - Two Months Free Appeal

The Two Months Free package has been the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s control since 2007.  It continues to exceed expectations in both new members acquired and lapsed members reactivated, as well as overall revenue generated for the membership program


Gold Award - National Museum of American Jewish History
Nonprofit Acquisition - Tell Your Story
With the opening of a new building on Independence Mall in Philadelphia in November 2010, the National Museum of American Jewish History wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to expand its membership base. Together with NMAJH, TLC developed a package about the Museum's overall mission and targeted both national and local markets. The package allowed new members to be part of an exclusive “Founding Members” category, and offered a back-end premium array. The package results showed NMAJH doubled its membership base in one month

Silver Award - Central Park Conservancy

Nonprofit Special Appeals - Storm Damage in the Park
In Fall 2009, a strong storm damaged many of the Park’s trees, putting a strain on the organization’s resources. Monitoring discussion of the storm on Twitter after an initial email campaign helped TLC determine that people were still talking about the damage months later.  In the end, our urgent “telegram” package raised more than $110,000 in net profit.