Offer Analysis: Children’s Books

1.  The Product

“Baby’s First Disney Books” consists of 24 bilingual books in the whole collection. One new book is added per year and one is deleted from the list. The top of each page is in English and the bottom of each page is in Spanish. The books display Disney characters and colorful pictures. The books try to introduce early learning skills to babies. Disney is the licensor. Scholastic has the exclusive license for Disney’s book continuity clubs in the U.S. Hispanic market.

2. Vehicle A: Solo Mail piece

The piece offered the typical “Order now get three free and one to preview,” and The direct mail piece in Spanish (see image), because, “Scholastic wants to provide a complete marketing experience in Spanish,” Jorge Londono, Senior Manager Niche Marketing at Scholastic, tells Portada. The piece includes a a scratch-and-win game on the front of the envelope, advertising in Spanish that everyone wins up to three free bilingual Disney books for free. The “Winnie the Pooh” bowl and spoon are offered as gifts, as in the shared mail piece. Additional books are offered at a price of $12.00, plus an unspecified sum for shipping and handling. The offer also solicits the recipient’s email address. The piece was mailed out of Jefferson City, MO, in a 6” by 9” envelope.

Until 2006, Scholastic marketed the Hispanic version of “Babies First Disney Books” with outbound telemarketing. But in 2006 it launched a direct mail campaign.
First drop was in June 2006 and over 12 months, Scholastic did three drops. It will also have two more mail campaigns by May of 2007.

3. Vehicle B:  Shared Mail

Extending essentially the same offer as the solo mail piece, Scholastic used a shared mail , or co-op mailing, piece with a simplified and smaller (in dimensions) version of the solo mail campaign. The piece was sent out in a Mosaico Book Club Ride-along Program (see image) and was also included in Mosaico, BMG and Rodale Book Buyers. Scholastic’s shared mail program started last June. According to Scholastics, the total amount of shared mailings dropped was close to 1 million at the end of the campaign in December, 2006.

In this program, the insert rides with monthly mailings to Mosaico club members.  The mailings have brochures showing the members what books they can order. The Mosaico ride-along was distributed in mid-October in Spanish. It was printed on a 5.25” by 8.25” card whose creative read, “Sus primeras palabras, sus primeros pasitos, y ahora, sus primeros libros(Your child’s first words, first steps and now, first books)!”

As a premium, the piece offers to get three books free with a one-book order of $4.99, and also offers a “Winnie the Pooh” bowl and spoon. An additional offer is made to

4. The Results

Direct marketers typically don’t want to provide response rates, and Scholastic is no exception, in part because they are still calculating the response. However, sources at Scholastic did tell Portada that the response rates for their solo mail efforts are usually higher than for shared mail, but CPM costs for the solo mail pieces are 20 times higher. Solo campaigns bring on a more qualified customer:  Someone who understands better what the product is about and who is going to collect more books.

5. Future Activity:
Expansion on the web

“BabySource Disney bilingual is going to continue in 2007, working on developing a larger web presence, distinct from our other marketing efforts. We are really testing the web, with more English copy than Spanish, as acculturation levels online tend to be higher,” says Londono. He added that they want to explore the web as an independent channel, and gauge response. “There won’t even be a link from the direct mail piece going to the webpage. We want the customer to consume the media and not be distracted by references to other media. Maybe in the future, when we understand the metrics of each media, we can look at how to cross pollinate our efforts.”