Case Study: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Similar to other museums, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum experienced prolonged and unexpected closures due to COVID-19, dramatically impacting revenue. The September 2021 direct mail acquisition campaign aimed to bring important revenue back to the museum, grow the membership program, and promote the special exhibitions.   

The campaign invited recipients to join the Guggenheim family and receive exceptional benefits, starting with the spectacular Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle exhibition, as well as ancillary exhibitions by living artists. The Kandinsky career retrospective exhibition was the focal point of the package, with the campaign strategically timed to arrive in homes before the opening.   

Recipients were encouraged to respond quickly and attend the Member Monday Private Viewing of Vasily Kandinsky.  To encourage higher-level response, an exclusive curator-led tour of the exhibition was included for select levels. Additional special offers were also included to drive immediate response.  

A vibrant #11 package was mailed with a full-color outer envelope with Kandinsky’s eye-catching art; a letter with engaging copy; a three-panel brochure that creatively used space for member benefits, engaging images, and descriptions of all exhibitions and joyful art experiences; and an easy-to-read reply form.


The campaign was viewed as an investment in the Guggenheim’s membership program and was expected to break even.  Instead, it outperformed projections and exceeded the client’s expectations, receiving 161% more gifts and 203% more income, resulting in an ROI of $3.07.