Following the near-collapse of the financial system two years ago, the credit card marketplace looked like a pretty dismal place. Direct mail volume dropped, of course, a trend that's likely to continue for years. But to stand out, marketers have begun to roll out new cards, as well ramp up promotions for existing cards to specific demographic groups.
Women small business owners are the target of a recent offer for the Gold Card from American Express OPEN (Archive code #544-172047-1007B; go to our Who's Mailing What! Archive to order a PDF). At first glance, the package appears very similar to others mailed for OPEN: a 6" x 9-1/2" outer, a letter with a mock Gold Card spot-glued to it, and a airline ticket sleeve with faux boarding passes inside.
But this mailing also includes a two-page sheet nested after the letter. It spells out in greater detail the terms of the offer and the benefits of accepting it, some of which is likely to strike a chord with this audience. It claims that OPEN "is dedicated to serving women-owned small businesses."
Not only are the workings of its Membership Rewards points explained, but they're also backed up by a testimonial from a woman cardmember: "We typically use them for employee gift cards ... we can do something nice." There's also a paragraph with a strong push for the company's "Women's Business Initiative," a program providing resources and advice to businesswomen.
The offer by Amex for its Senior Gold Card doesn't offer much that's different from its standard Gold Card. It still flatters the customer for their "excellent financial record," waives the annual fee for the first year, and includes purchase protection and access to Gold Card events.
But it's how the mailing looks that's a little different. The type is a bit larger and darker than usual, with a little more leading between the sentences, so it's easier to read. A "senior discount" is the biggest selling point, a reduced membership fee that applies after the initial free year (Archive code #540-172047-1006A).