Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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.

Results

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.  

The Phillips 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. 

Results

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. 

The Frick Collection

The membership appeal arrived in homes in January 2021, ahead of the opening of Frick Madison in March, capitalizing on the opportunity for prospects to join and attend Member Preview Days.

Copy and design conveyed the unusual concept of a move to a new location, rather than having an extended closure while the Frick’s historic home on 1 East 70th Street is undergoing renovation. Viewing the Frick’s world-renowned collection in an entirely new context became part of the membership appeal, coupled with a warm invitation to join and special offers including the designation, “Frick Future Member,” to those who join during this period of exciting change.

The package design featured dramatic close-up images of signature art, including a Rembrandt and a Vermeer, highlighting the exceptional art experience at the Frick.

Results

The campaign was a tremendous success despite being conducted in a period of uncertainty and economic upheaval, achieving a response rate of more than 2% and an average gift of $145, with a ROI of close to $4. 

The Barnes Foundation

Five emails were sent over six days to lapsed and prospective members promoting a “Flash Sale” in celebration of reopening.  Special offers, discounts on higher membership levels, Members-only Days, and a unique Barnes facemask premium were the incentives to join.

Email copy detailed the new health and safety protocols adopted in anticipation of reopening and the opportunity to reserve timed tickets online.  Creative reflected the excitement surrounding the reopening and the joy that comes from in-person encounters with art.

Results

Though fewer emails were sent than projected, the appeal achieved a 300% higher response rate and comparable average gift, significantly exceeding target and net revenue.