Spotlight on the Top 10 Mailers of 2013September 1, 2013 By Ethan Boldt
With the help of Who's Mailing What! (WMW), we decided to take a closer look at the top 10 out of the Top 50 Mailers of 2013, which makes up Target Marketing's annual September cover story. In particular, one standout mailing campaign from each (although that's a challenge with catalogs, but we did our best!).
1. American Express Co.
American Express Co. is a huge mailer—in part because it owns several cards, including the Gold Card, the regular American Express Card, the Business Platinum Card, the new Blue Card, and affinity cards such as with Delta Air Lines. In the last 12 months alone, WMW has received 103 mailings. Overall, in the database, WMW has 4,254 mailings and 1,816 of those are controls. In other words, 43 percent of American Express' mailings have been mailed before, so clearly the company is finding out which mailings are working well and putting them in the mailstream again.
One such mailing is the Blue Card pocket envelope, a new format that a few financial mailers along with nonprofits are using. Attempting to compete with Discover Card, the Blue Card trumpets its cash back rewards throughout the mailing, including the back of the oversized 4-3/4 x 10 blue outer (which gets noticed in mailboxes). Opening the envelope spot-glued on the sides reveals two horizontal panels that fold out like a brochure and that showcase the cash back rewards, then a pocket reveals a personalized letter along with several calls to action.
2. L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean is the second most dominant mailer for much the same reason that American Express is: It goes out in many different variations. In L.L. Bean's case, that means the usual seasonal catalogs, but also Direct to Business as well as "Home," "Women" and "Men" catalogs. In the last 12 months, WMW has received 76 catalogs. Overall, 1037 catalogs appear in the database and 260 are controls, which is exactly 25 percent and which is a fairly high percentage for a catalog.
The Summer 2013 catalog uses the ever-popular "FREE SHIPPING" offer, but this time with "no minimum order, no end date." That, alongside a $250,000 sweepstakes offer in combination with the L.L. Bean Visa card, makes this catalog a winner in the eyes of most prospects.
3. Chase Manhattan Bank
Again, affinity is the theme of the day, as here Chase Manhattan Bank is so present in the mailstream because of its many credit cards, including the Freedom Card, the Slate Card, the new Ink Card (competing with the Blue Card and Discover Card), and several affinity cards (Marriot Rewards, United MileagePlus, Disney Rewards, etc.). Like some other financial services mailers, Chase Manhattan Bank is also active in all types of direct mail: acquisition, expiration, retention and upgrade mailings.