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Avalon Wins 2011 Gold & Silver MAXIs!

Allison Porter
By ALLISON PORTER | Thursday, 21 July 2011 11:12
Categories: Avalon News, Client Success Stories, Avalon Client News
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We’re thrilled to report some exciting Avalon news: the Galapagos Conservancy has won a Gold Direct Marketing Association of Washington MAXI (Marketing Awards for Excellence and Innovation) and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has won a Silver MAXI in the “workhorse” category. Congratulations to everyone on these teams for two innovative and successful campaigns!  How did they do it?

The Galapagos Conservancy faced a quandary at year-end.  Due to expense budget restrictions, the Conservancy’s high-dollar ($1,000 +) Ambassador members were mailed a mass-produced version of the low-dollar effort. Accustomed to high-end, high-touch mailings with substantial requests for support, sending this high-dollar file a version of the low-dollar effort presented a risk in terms of package quality concerns and the ultimate need to meet revenue goals.  In order to boost response, additional personalization and first class postage were added.


What did we learn?

You don’t always need to mail a $5 package to achieve high returns from high-dollar files.  At only a cost of $1.44/piece this package was 2 ½ times less expensive than any Ambassador mailing since 2007.  Nevertheless, it earned the highest response rate (14% higher than its nearest competitor) and the second highest average gift of all Ambassador campaigns mailed during that time.  In addition, this effort produced a 15% higher net per thousand than any effort mailed in the history of the program.  Lesson learned!

Photo Courtesy of Mark Van Bergh Photography


For years the Kennedy Center has mailed an annual premium appeal to its members – the centerpiece of which is a box of note cards. Over the past three years we have continued to improve and refine this campaign by continually testing various elements, including moving several segments from the more expensive box to an elegant envelope – as well as including a bookmark and address labels to enhance the value of the cards.


These slight package adjustments over the past three years have really paid off and proven successful in maintaining strong performance. Results have continued to improve with FY10 raising 18% more gross revenue than FY09 and 9% more than FY08.  Expenses have also remained level with previous years creating a net 37% higher than the FY09 effort and 20% higher than FY08.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Van Bergh Photography

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