Marketing Case Study: A Chess School Teaches A Marketing Lesson

Dean of Chess Academy

Marketing Case Study: A Chess School Teaches A Marketing LessonGoal: Increase student enrollment in chess classes.


Postcard Design: Dean of Chess printed 12,000 postcards focusing on chess (yes, the ancient game of kings and generals!) activities and educational programs they offer for all ages. They also highlighted the benefits of how the game of chess will help children learn at a faster pace than non-chess players.

The design itself can play a huge part in generating response, so let's take a look at the successful design elements of this campaign.

The headline and message is very straight-forward with a play on industry terminology, “Make Your Move.” The back side of the card has a clearly stated offer of “20% OFF” that gives readers an incentive to call.

In this economy, an offer is even more important than in the past and creates a hot button to call. The overall message is positioned in a way that leads the eyes down the card to the bullet points featuring benefits of how chess can give a boost in academic performance. Lastly, there is a strong call to action with a large phone number, which is obviously key to getting response.

Mailing List: For this campaign, Dean of Chess ordered a list of single-family homeowners with presence of children age 4-15. The target was the lady of the house, since they are most times the educational decision maker, and used a home value $250k or more to get more financially qualified candidates.

Mailing Schedule: The campaign consisted of 12,000 postcards — 3 mailings to a list of 4000 contacts over a 3 month period.


“Everyone that brings in the postcard and comes in, joins and stays! That brings our total new students so far to 35, which is phenomenal!”
— Dawn, owner, Dean of Chess Academy

Every student that has signed up in the fall generates a sales of approximately $1,000 in the first year.

Campaign Cost: Including postage, $4266

Sales from Leads Generated: $30,734

ROI (Return on Investment): 720%

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be showcasing more of these direct mail case studies, which will hopefully lead you to discover ways of growing your own business. Some may be on my blog, some in this newsletter and we're putting together an archive of them behind our Ultimate Marketing Pass login — no cost to get access, you simply need to create an account here — so keep an eye out. Whenever I post a new one, I'll be sure to keep you informed.

If you have a direct mail success story of your own, send it along to I may even feature it in my newsletter and put your company in front of over 60,000 pairs of eyes!

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Find Joy on Google+

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email or call 1-800-628-1804 ext. 281.

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