You may have seen them in your mailbox. They are called marketing card packs. Inside are two stacks of small 3.5x5 advertiser cards from different vendors. As an avid gardener, I get them all the time full of cards advertising seed catalogs, rototillers, compost tumblers and the like. Marketing card packs are used to target a specific market, and so there are different card packs that target audiences, like gardeners, woodworkers, country living enthusiasts, outdoorsmen, history buffs, the over 60 crowd, etc.
A leading marketing card pack company contacted us several years ago to interest us in using their services for evangelistic purposes. While I thought the idea was great, I wasn’t anxious to add more work to an already full plate. So year after year and sometimes twice a year the salesman would call, and I put him off until a more convenient season. But finally his persistence paid off, and we decided to try one card pack with an advertisement for a free Great Controversy. Since The Great Controversy is for all practical purposes a history book, we decided to advertise it in the Explore History card pack, which would be mailed to 300,000 individuals across the US who purchased something related to history in the last six months.
With the first trial mailing in August 2014, we received over 2,700 requests for The Great Controversy. Impressed with the response rate, we decided to continue with ten more card pack mailings for the 2014-15 season and another nine for the 2015-16 season, trying different free book offers with each one. In total we were able to give over 12.5 million households the opportunity (and sometimes more than once) to receive one of our free life-changing books. With request still coming in, we have processed to date over 46,000 individual requests for our free literature and Bible studies—all of these cards then being distributed to our conferences and then onto thousands of churches across the US for local, personal follow-up.
You may be thinking this must have cost a boat load, but actually it was the cost itself that made this such an attractive evangelism portal. Each free offer card provided only cost us 1.6 cents. Add to that the cost of fulfilling the tens of thousands of requests, and our total cost per lead came to just under $7.00. And since the free books requested all had their own additional free offers, many of these same people are enjoying these other free materials and are continuing to grow their faith on the Word of God.
We are grateful to all who contributed to make this project possible and to God whose grace touched so many hearts and continues to touch hearts.
By Steve Peden, Project Director