“Mayday” — when repeated three times — is a distress call. The Independent Institute surely is in distress — marketing distress.
The Independent Institute is a free market research organization. It publishes top-flight books. But, like most non-profit organizations, it needs a full-time marketer with background in direct response marketing.
Let me show you how I know this. A marketing letter landed in my email box last night at 7:15 p.m. It was a promotion for a series of high school student seminars on the free market. It had a deadline for applying: May 1.
So, at the end of the work day on May 1, the Independent Institute informed recipients that the deadline had passed.
I have been in direct response marketing since 1977. Here is the basic rule: Don’t mail out a promotional with a deadline that has closed.
This may seem like a breakthrough marketing rule to some people, but it’s a good idea to honor it. Otherwise, you look silly. Also, it lowers response rates when you send out post-deadline offers.
I learned this at the age of 17, when I ran my first conference for 1,000 students. That was back in 1959. Let me assure you, this strategy worked. I recommend it. Call me old school.
Here is the deadline letter:
Today is the final day to submit your application for the Challenge of Liberty Summer Seminars.
You are invited to join Independent Institute scholars and like-minded students for a five-day retreat in Colorado or California this summer. Scholarships are available to cover tuition, room and board, and all other seminar materials.
June 1–5: Colorado Christian University, Denver
June 8–12: University of Colorado, Boulder
July 6–10: University of California, Berkeley
• Learn how enterpreneurial markets work and how they can benefit the world.
• Bolster your understanding of classical-liberal ideas and free-market economics.
• Build a network for liberty while you participate in lively debates, mix and mingle at our evening socials, and win prizes!
This year is going to be the biggest and best Seminar series yet; you won’t want to miss it!
Don’t forget, the application closes TODAY, Friday, May 1st.
We hope to see you soon this summer at one of our seminars!
Amy Lee Andres
Student Programs Manager
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621
Office: (510) 632-1366, ext 156
P.S. I did like the thought of being one of the Independent Institute’s “like-minded students.” But it occurs to me that I am out of the normal age range for their five-day retreat. Still, my wife says I need some time off. She has been saying this for about 20 years. Maybe next year, assuming that I find out in time.