For a company whose business is based on direct mail, it's not surprising that Pitney Bowes developed a direct mail piece that has worked so well for so long. A folded self-mailer, promoting the company's mailstation 2 postage meter system to a small business audience, has been in the mail for over three years, thus qualifying it as a Who's Mailing What! "Grand Control." Of the approximately 1,600 Grand Control mailings, only a relative few are classified as B-to-B.
According to Scott Neyer, director of offline marketing for Pitney Bowes, the package's status was earned by the team of Robin Salter (copywriter), Trudy Maus (creative director), Robin Shaw (graphic designer), and Andrew Marino (account director) through lots of testing. The mailer's success, he says, is due to several key components.
First, the concept conveys what the product does. The address side of the 6" x 10-1/2" outer is dominated by a simple value proposition: "Weigh it. Print it. Mail it. ALL-IN-ONE." It's accompanied by a photo of the meter. On an inside panel, there's a photo of each of these actions and a "clear, clean, easy way" of explaining how the customer benefits.
Second, the offer had to include a "pretty rich incentive." The other outer panel of the mailer leads with an irresistible pitch: "For 2 years, we'll give you $20 in postage coupons for every month." A grid follows, with the postage coupons offer repeated (in blue shading), followed by the system's monthly rental fee of $19.99 (with no shading), and that followed, in turn, by the net rental cost per month, "ZERO!" (again shaded in light blue).
The grid is repeated on a perfed panel inside, which conveniently doubles as a reply device, to be inserted into the BRE that forms the back panel of the mailer. According to Neyer, testing revealed that respondents liked the type of interaction present in this format more than in a previous version, which had only two inside panels and a small perfed reply card. He also pointed out that the current iteration is easier to hold in one's hands and to read the copy across and down. Reminding the prospect of the incentive — as well as the 60-day free trial — also helps.
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