Case Study: The Phillips Collection

In 2021, a direct mail campaign was developed to celebrate The Phillips Collection’s centennial year as it looked toward a vibrant new era of celebrating important and diverse artists within its collection.

 After a temporary closure and other challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the centennial anniversary of The Phillips Collection in 2021 presented a prime opportunity to re-engage with lapsed members, secure new members, and grow the museum’s membership program. It was also an opportunity to show the Phillips point of view: to engage with significant and sometimes overlooked contemporary artists.  With major special exhibitions slated for the fall and early 2022, The Phillips Collection leveraged the milestone anniversary to celebrate 100 years of seeing differently” and welcome a vibrant new era of diverse and experimental special exhibitions.  

The campaign showcased two upcoming exhibitions by contemporary Black artists with roots in Washington D.C., and was strategically timed to arrive in homes in early October, just prior to the exhibitions’ opening. Recipients were encouraged to join online for fastest response, ensuring they could attend exclusive member preview days. To showcase the value of membership, the package promoted additional opportunities throughout the year, as well as a combination of special offers.

With vibrant imagery and motivating copy, the direct mail package was designed to stand out in the mailbox.  Copy and design featured striking images from the special exhibitions, a focus on the significant anniversary at The Phillips Collection, and can’t-miss events and outstanding member benefits. 


The October 2021 acquisition campaign far exceeded expectations, more than doubling the projected gross revenue with a response rate of over 2%. Net revenue was a whopping 406% higher than projected.