Message & Media: What I Learned From P.O. Box 1857
Takeaway No. 3: Bundling is big. Bundling has become the offer-of-choice for marketers of everything from fast food and insurance to automobiles, credit cards, hair care products, even air travel. Catalogers have long used bundling as a tool for selling low-cost, low-margin products they otherwise couldn't afford to promote by mail.
Now, AT&T and other and telephone/digital service marketers, such as Time Warner, are bundling services with package pricing to lock in customer loyalty and profits. All of the mailings I received from P.O. Box 1857 offered bundles except one. How are you profiting from this bundling bonanza?
Takeaway No. 4: Your personal opinion is "a sample of one." That's all. Testing, tracking and measuring results tell you the true story of what works and what doesn't. And while I fully understand this as a direct marketer, I still have opinions. So I admit, the 6x9 mailing I received repeatedly from P.O. Box 1857 perplexed me. I didn't like it and thought the pinstriped outer envelope with its invitation-like piece inside was odd. The cover panel of the folded invitation had one word on it, "Hi!," and inside was a short note that began, "Thank you for your business." It then offered me a free account review. In my opinion, the package was too hokey to work.
Shame on me. Based on what I learned by doing a search in the Who's Mailing What! direct mail and email database, this mail piece was—and may still be—a control. I should have known this, because I received it five times. The big takeaway is a reminder: While we're all entitled to our opinions, we shouldn't let opinion get in the way of testing to learn what our customers prefer.
Takeaway No. 5: Change is good. Especially when you're sending frequent messages to the same audience. Rotate offers and formats to increase open and response rates.