Sparking Ideas

New USPS Savings Opportunity

The USPS recently announced a new “Earned Value Reply Mail” promotion that will run this spring, offering nonprofits and businesses a $.02 per piece savings on reply envelopes mailed between April 1 – June 30, 2013.

Here’s how it works:

1. Any time now until March 31, register your organization’s Mailer ID (MID) – that’s the permit number that can be found on your reply mail piece. Your TLC account manager would be happy to take care of this for you, just let him/her know you’re interested!

2. Any reply envelopes with Intelligent Mail Barcodes that are mailed using your organization’s Mailer ID between April 1 – June 30, 2013 will receive a $.02 credit. The credit can be redeemed for postage credit on future mailings of First-Class Mail Presort and Automation letters and cards and Standard Mail letters.

That’s it!

Timing of this promotion is perfect for those end of fiscal year responses that will roll in later this spring, so make sure to register for the promotion before March 31. And if you have any questions or want further clarification, feel free to contact your TLC account manager or Angela Struebing, VP, Client Services.

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!

Recent Press on TLC Acquisition

Charleston, SC newspaper The Post and Courier wrote about The Lukens Company's acquisition of Charleston-based Morey Group. Read the article here

The Lukens Company Acquires Morey Group

The Lukens Company family grew a little larger recently when we purchased Morey Group, a market research firm with a national footprint based in Charleston, SC. 

Morey Group has over 25 years of experience in research and consulting focused on the unique needs of cultural organizations, so their understanding of visitors, members and more broadly, the consumer's engagement with cultural organizations runs deep. 

Read more about the acquisition here, and feel free to reach out to Walter or your account manager with any questions.

TLC Pulse / 05.17.12

  • The USPS announced plans today to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases, the first of which will consolidate 140 locations in February 2013.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek wrote this week about how integrating all marketing channels can help brands combat the common problem of a fragmented message. We couldn’t agree more!
  • Facebook might be big topic of conversation on Wall Street these days, but their effectiveness as a digital marketing vehicle is inefficient compared to Google, according to a study by search marketing management company, WordStream. The average click-through rate for a Facebook ad is 0.051 percent, compared to Google 0.4 CTR. 

TLC Pulse / 05.09.12

  • The latest Federal Register confirms that beginning January 28, 2013, an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) will be required on automated letters and flats and doe Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM). That means your organization should be sure to use up any old reply envelopes with the old POSTNET barcodes!
  • Blackbaud’s Netwits Think Tank urges arts and cultural organizations in particular to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon, not only due to the rapidly growing trend, but also because arts organizations have images readably available, their supporters are likely Pinterest users and the search categories easily suit their mission.
  • KissMetrics created a list of tips to increase conversion on your website. Some you might recognize from our recent Whitepaper “Turning Clicks into Conversions” (for example, use short forms and test everything!), but one new one we liked is so simple – make your call to action crystal clear.
  • As we anxiously await the opening of The Barnes Foundation’s new location on May 19, Vogue offers an exclusive first look inside! Follow all the latest news of the opening on The Barnes’ Facebook page.

TLC Pulse / 05.02.12

  • The Washington Post reports that the Senate approved U.S. Postal Service reforms last week. The bipartisan measure would permit the end of Saturday mail delivery in two years and it also modifies mail service standards to preserve overnight mail delivery to nearby communities, but at the same time allows the USPS to slow mail delivery to further destinations.
  • Of course junk mail and nonprofit direct mail campaigns are completely different, but nonetheless, as direct marketers, we found The Atlantic’s list of cities that really hate junk mail interesting. Topping the list? Seattle.
  • released a list of the top 20 most expensive museums. We love their tip for getting in the door cheaper – annual membership brings admission down dramatically! 

TLC Pulse / 04.19.12

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote recently about nonprofits going mobile and the first recommendation was to use the website to determine how your organization’s website appears in different mobile formats. From there, your organization’s first priority should be making your website mobile-friendly – not necessarily creating an app.
  • To further illustrate the importance of a mobile-friendly presence, shared a report from mobile marketer, Knotice, which reveals 27% of marketing emails are opened on mobile devices.
  • Google proposed a new metric that it hopes will become the online advertising industry standard. “Active View” would count a viewed impression that “is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second”. Would a new standard convince your organization to invest more in online advertising?

TLC Pulse / 04.10.12

  • NTEN released its 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study last week (abridged version in infographic form here). One notable finding is the online giving grew 20% from 2010 to 2011 – how does your organization stack up?
  • Target Marketing wrote about the bright side of impending USPS changes, including our favorite bit of advice – take advantage of the free second ounce for First Class mail.
  • The Google Art Project added 134 museums to its site last week including a handful of TLC clients – the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The virtual gallery of 30,000 pieces of artwork allows visitors to get closer than ever to some of the world’s most famed pieces. A similar venture, WikiPaintings, is now in Beta.

TLC Pulse / 03.14.12

  • wrote a great article last week about how direct mail is “alive and kicking”. Among the reasons listed is that consumer surveys show that physical media – pieces that the consumer can physically interact with – leaves a deeper imprint on the brain, thereby increasing ROI.
  • The USPS revised its restructuring plan recently so that $20 billion in annual costs will be cut by 2015 and another $2 billion the following year. Among the cuts proposed that Congress will need to approve is an increase in First-Class stamps to 50 cents.
  • Tickets to see the new home of the Barnes Foundation go on sale tomorrow, amid news that membership has increased from 390 in March 2009 to 15,000 today.
  • The 340 ton rock destined to be turned into artwork, “Levitated Mass”, arrived at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Saturday!