A Direct Mail Fixer-Upper
For at least the past three years retailer Home Depot has been prospecting with sophisticated, multi-panel postcard efforts. While the creative for each effort has differed slightly, the template has remained the same: Take an 8" x 20" form on lightweight card stock, die cut a 2" x 3" card at the top of the form and then fold the form to create a 6" x 8" self-mailer.
The two oldest postcard efforts received by the Archive feature a nice toolbox graphic, but don't leverage the personalization on the small card to maximum effect. In fact, a few improvements have been made to subsequent versions of this effort that should boost the efficiency of this mailing in reaching campaign objectives (539HOMDEP0301).
For example, Home Depot reengineered the placement of folds and tweaked outer copy to show off the personalized card, that now peeks out from the top of the mailing. The card serves as a simplified version of the credit card for which prospects can apply via the "acceptance certificate" at the bottom of the form.
The self-mailer opens up to reveal, from the top of the form in descending order: an explanation of the 10-percent discount on qualifying purchases; a personalized letter from Home Depot's director of credit sales; and a credit application that folds and mails as a BRC.
The discount promotion is quite interesting, in that it not only lays out the rules for getting the discount, but it also provides processing instructions for cashiers. Since prospects are required to bring the mailing to the store to get the discount, this information helps cashiers who may be unfamiliar with the promotion to process the new customer's order without hassle.
The letter is a quick read and includes information on the newest store in the recipient's neighborhood. A tinted box also helps prospects use the most convenient response method offered. Prospects can choose from Web, phone, mail or in-store response channels. A real plus is the inclusion of the offer code on the Web and phone response options, so prospects don't have to stop for even a second to locate their personalized number.
More personalization on the credit card application makes it easy to respond by mail or in the store. The name and address information is pre-printed, of course, as is the offer code, an offer deadline and the line of credit extended to this individual. One caveat: The rule-breaker in this effort is using a BRC to carry sensitive information like a social security number and home phone number back to the marketer. However, the form does get folded and sealed, which conceals the data from the naked eye.
Home Depot can vary the messaging on the outer panels of the self-mailer. The latest effort provides a street address and computer-generated map for the grand opening of a new store. The offer teaser copy is reduced in point size to accommodate this extra information. On the addressing side of the piece, a ghosted image of a Home Depot store serves as the main graphic, with a line of teaser copy in bright orange type keyed in to the reason for mailing the prospect this offer, i.e., the discount offer or the store opening.
It's a far cry from the typical retail credit card offer, and it appears to be working.