London-based Time Magazines Europe Ltd. is publisher of the EMEA edition of Time magazine, the largest weekly news magazine in the world. For over 20 years, Time Magazines Europe Ltd. has mailed approximately three million prospects per year across the region with their compelling subscription offers, relying upon the expert help of suppliers such as Latcham Direct Ltd., specialists in digital printing, data processing, email, and multi-channel communications, to continuously improve the effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns.
In 2011, Time Magazines Europe asked for Latcham Direct’s assistance in enhancing their subscription process because they wanted to harness the potential of an online ordering service. Traditionally, their subscription method relied on customers completing and mailing order forms through the postal system. This method was time-consuming and costly and did not always provide the optimum experience for new subscribers. They needed Latcham Direct’s help to develop an alternative that would minimize or eliminate these problems.
Upon examining Time Magazines Europe’s current process, coupled with their campaign goals, Latcham Direct immediately saw a solution: rather than run a traditional direct mail-only campaign, they would create an online subscription process using cross-media powered by XMPie solutions (Booth 1202). With XMPie’s PersonalEffect system and uProduce Marketing Console, Latcham Direct could execute a tightly coordinated campaign that spanned multiple channels and improved the customer experience, with precise marketing analytics tools that would allow for real-time monitoring of campaign results.
Latcham Direct launched the campaign by distributing a mailing pack that consisted of a subscription solicitation letter, loyalty card, flyer and return envelope, all produced on Xerox 525 Continuous Laser Printers. Each subscription letter contained a PURL that led recipients to a personalized landing page where they could subscribe online to Time magazine, if that was their preference. Throughout the campaign, Latcham Direct was able to precisely monitor results and statistics, reporting critical data back to Time Magazines Europe.
Results far exceeded Time Magazine Europe’s goals. Thanks to the cross-media approach, 30% responded online. The success of the campaign led Time Magazines Europe to have Latcham Direct run the campaign twice more. To date, the campaign has reached nearly 1.6 million potential subscribers in the U.K. and has continued to prove to be highly successful, with a conversion rate of nearly 75% for recipients who visited their PURL.
The addition of the online ordering option via a PURL proved to be an asset for many reasons aside from boosting response rates. Sign-ups were completed faster and at a lower cost to Time Magazines Europe, as the delay caused by mailing back the order form and the expense of manually processing them were eliminated. From the customer perspective, the PURLs made ordering quicker and easier, and between this and the personalization aspect, the customer experience was enhanced, as was their perception of Time magazine as a trusted brand.
Additional cycles of the campaign are planned through 2013. New features are in development on the use of the PURL and metrics available through the Marketing Console to drive additional sales from visitors who don’t make a purchase. Time Magazines Europe and Latcham Direct are confident that the subscription base and subscriber experience of Time magazine will continue to be positive on all fronts.