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Reader's Digest Adds a New Chapter in Customized Direct Marketing: with Terminal Van Gogh and Xerox 1:1 Lab


Toronto, ON  -- Terminal Van Gogh Ltd. (" TVG "), a leading 1 to 1 variable solution provider, announced today that the Reader's Digest Canada Case study created under the Xerox 1:1 Lab is now available on its website at


Find out how Reader's Digest Canada has gained significant benefits since testing Terminal Van Gogh's 1:1 marketing solution under the Xerox 1:1 Lab with the fully customized package delivering an average increased response rate of 67% over the control package and an average increase in sales of 74% over the control package. Just as importantly, Reader's Digest found that relevant messages based on affinity patterns changed customer behavior and broke some of the silos in the current business model.


Reader's Digest is committed to being the industry leader in direct marketing by being in the forefront of one-to-one marketing, not only in Canada but around the world. "We were keen to test a new business model based on data-driven communications to surpass the strong performance of our direct marketing efforts," said Matheau Peloquin, Vice President, Marketing Product Lines, Reader's Digest Canada. The scope of the test was whether the use of variable graphics and offers could positively influence the customer's behavior.


Multiple tests were designed by Terminal Van Gogh for Reader's Digest. The control group received a traditional package while two test groups received fully variable mailings. Test 1 was further subdivided into a full Sweepstakes package and a simplified package. Test 1A and 1B offered items based on the same product line as the most recent purchase, whereas Test 2 cross-sold product lines. Reader's Digest provided the product selection and the affinity table. TVG then programmed each affinity from the table into a program code to drive the variable messaging within the catalogue and stamp sheet, with some affinities requiring in excess of 5,000 lines of code. "In the Lab environment we wanted to see how effective cross-selling between different product-lines and marketing silos can be for an organization like Reader's Digest", according to Ben Passmore, Chief Program Architect, Terminal Van Gogh.


The packages produced for the 1:1 Lab campaign were fully variable and unique to each customer. The customized catalogues were populated with titles selected by applying a profiling algorithm to each individual's purchase history. Mixing and matching variables resulted in as many as 800 product-affinity combinations and three billion possible catalogue variations.


"The results of the 1:1 Lab test have proven that relevant complementary offers based on customer profiles and affinities can increase the likelihood of a response and can greatly impact their purchasing behavior," stated Julie Northrup, Director of Sales for Terminal Van Gogh. Response rates were significantly higher with all the variable packages than the traditional, control package. The most significant overall improvement in sales, 74 percent, was achieved in Test 2 with the cross-selling multiple products catalogue. In this test, book and CD buyers responded more to the fully customized package compared to the control one, 83 percent more for books and 35 percent more for CD's. "There is little doubt that customized communications is the future of direct marketing." Reiterated Mathieu Peloquin, Vice President, Marketing Product Lines, Reader's Digest Canada.


Xerox's 1:1 Lab, a veritable testing ground for Xerox Customers, demonstrates the power and accessibility of data-driven one-to-one marketing and has accelerated its adoption by the data mining and marketing community. Terminal Van Gogh, the co-manager of the 1:1 Lab, provided strategy, creative design and all back-bone programming for the customized 1:1 test packages, taking care to keep the overall look as similar as possible to Reader's Digest's traditional marketing piece to avoid skewing customers' responses and ensuring an objective comparison of results.


Terminal Van Gogh

Terminal Van Gogh is the leading 1 to 1 communication solution provider in North America. Utilizing the TVG-PoweredTM engine technology, TVG enables their clients to deploy the next generation in 1 to 1 variable communication solutions across print and the web. These solutions drive dramatically higher rates of returns. The TVG solution is the tactical extension of any enterprise's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy, achieving measurable improvements across many business metrics, such as customer acquisition, customer retention or cross-selling/up-selling initiatives. TVG is the co-manager of the award winning Xerox 1:1 Lab that has generated exceptional results for such companies as Conference Board of Canada, Staples / Business Depot, Heritage Education Funds and BC Tourism. Website


Xerox 1:1 Lab

The 1:1 Lab is an enabler for Xerox Canada's graphic arts customers and their marketing and advertising customers to implement data-driven 1 to 1 marketing campaigns on an ongoing basis.


Relatively few corporate marketers have the infrastructure, experience or people to execute personalized communication programs, even though they are aware of its advantages. The 1:1 Lab brings together the hardware, software and skills commercial printers and their customers need without requiring them to invest in these areas.


The 1:1 Lab is working with a select group of partner and client companies to demonstrate the benefits and returns from 1 to 1 communication. The other case studies released are Heritage Education Funds, BC Tourism and Solidarity Fund QFL.


Reader's Digest Canada

A Canadian institution for 60 years, Reader's Digest Canada is a pre-eminent publisher and direct marketer of magazines, books, music and DVDs. Reader's Digest and Sélection du Reader's Digest are Canada's most widely read monthly magazines, with 8.1 million readers per month.


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