Non-Profit Rolls Out German Test After Small Global Mailing

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VIENNA, VA - The National Wildlife Federation plans to drop 25,000 catalogs in Germany this fall after mailing a scattering of books across markets from Japan to Europe for the last year.

"We mailed 10,000 copies of the spring 1997 catalog abroad and steadily increased the mailings over our summer, fall and holiday catalogs," Susan Boghosian, the non-profit's senior director of marketing said.

"And we just dropped 32,000 copies of the spring 1998 catalog. We've been testing markets and looking for expansion opportunities," she added.

The tests covered a broad swatch of territory with mailings going to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in Asia and the Pacific rim and to Holland, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Sweden.

The federation has worked closely with Quad/Graphics, the Wisconsin-based global printer, who handled production and delivery into the mail stream. Returns from Germany were encouraging enough to try the larger mailing.

Quad/Graphics is utilizing the USPS's "New Marketing Opportunities Program" in the German mailing. It allows catalogers to deliver 25,000 catalogs to one country for $22,000 (see the Lambert at Large column on p.21 of DM News International, Feb. 16)

All told, Tim Ohnmacht of Quad/Graphics' international sales division said, the cost for the mailing lay in the $40,000 to $50,000 range including printing and delivery.

Ohnmacht helped Boghosion hook up with a call center - Fortress Europe located in Dublin -- and with Deutsche Post A.G., which has become an active player in catalog delivery within Germany.

As catalog orders trickled in Boghosian began to build a list, adding that "I expect to have enough names pretty soon that I could utilize for a list exchange." Names are going into a database maintained by the Mokrynski list company.

Catalog products are geared to animal and outdoor themes, all with an educational mission to save and protect, as the catalog copy puts it, "wildlife, wild places and the natural resources we all share."

The product mix ranges from outdoor clothing, curtains and other textiles to vases, pottery, pictures, cards, books, stamps, dolls and toys. Gift items tend to run under $50 each, although some clothing runs close to $100.

"All our products come with educational information about wildlife for our customers. We have sweatshirts with a wolf on it. Every item must be related to the mission of the federation to help maintain wildlife," she said.

She noted that catalog paper is made "especially for us of 14 percent post consumer waste recycled material" and that "we have no problem printing on it. Quad/Graphics does it all the time."

The National Wildlife Federation also sells two successful children's magazines through the mails - Ranger Rick for kids from 6-12 and Your Big Backyard for children up to six. It plans to market them internationally also.

In the US the donor audience is predominantly older females, Boghosian said, "some 74 percent of our file is female" and she does not expect her foreign audiences to be very different.

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