choiceChoice: online, more is better. Or so discovered the head of digital marketing for a major consumer publishing megabrand (who sadly cannot be identified). This flies in the face of one of the cardinal Rules of Direct Mail: one offer, one call-to-action.

Our publisher has been working on online offers, both on the site, in search and in email, to boost the print subscriber base of a wide variety of magazines. Time after time, the more choices offered to consumers for subscribing, the higher the conversion rate.

It’s a model familiar to those who support PBS and NPR with donations in which supporters are offered a premium with a donation; a mug, a tote bag, an umbrella or a CD, for example. In direct mail, marketers offer only one such option. The more choice available, the more likely recipients are to ignore the offer.

Not so online, regardless of channel, finds our publisher. The greater the choice of premiums offered with print subscriptions, the higher the conversion rate. He’s not sharing numbers, but will disclose the company is excited enough with this learning to broaden their palette of premiums with subscriptions, and to expand offers into even more digital channels.

Any other publishers, or charitable organizations out there, testing in this area? If so, please share your learnings in the comment section of this post.