Tactful, thoughtful and genuine -- certainly fundamental to its ability to remain relevant -- the Mayo Clinic Health Letter also employs many of the finest direct mail tactics to great effect and continually makes small revisions to maintain its top-dog status.
"It's evolved over 17 years. It has changed quite a bit, but the fundamental concepts and base copy and base offer are largely the same," says Mark Johnson, the Carlisle, Pa.-based copywriter behind this control. Because the scale of this control is so large, with the Mayo Clinic sending two million to five million mailers per quarter, he spends two days per quarter in person meeting with the marketing folks at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis. "It's a group environment for test ideas," reports Johnson, who says they're usually tweaking the control to either bring the response rate up or compensate for package fatigue.
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