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The Learning Company

The Learning Company wanted to test direct mail to its customer database but lacked internal expertise. Equally serious, the database was in disarray and could not be used internally or put on the list rental market. Maintaining the customer registration list was a significant expense with no revenue potential.

I enlisted the help of experts and developed a detailed creative and database management plan. I managed copy and design work from concept through printing, lettershop, and mailing as well as list selection, segmentation, and offer and copy testing. Telemarketing and fulfillment were arranged through service bureaus.

On the database management side, a competitive search was conducted for a database service agency and for a list management company. NCOA, address standardization, and file layouts were completed to insure high mailability for internal and external use. The list management company created a sales plan with the goal of protecting the customer list from competitors while generating on-going revenue though list rentals. While all this was being done, I helped transfer knowledge and experience to the internal staff.

The Learning Company’s first direct mail test was profitable and direct mail became a significant channel of distribution for new products to the company’s installed base and new customers. The Learning Company’s list was aggressively marketed and list rental revenues exceeded company expectations. Revenue from list rental generated a significant profit.


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