A Mailing That Holds the Road
There's no doubt that freemiums can enhance a direct mail package and promote brand. Tying your freemium in with the other elements of your direct mail package in terms of graphics and copy to create a cohesive mailpiece ensures it will be more than a useless giveaway.
Volvo Cars of North America LLC dropped an example of this solidarity between mid-November and early December 2004 (Archive code #361-171791-0412).
Sent to current Volvo owners, handraisers and conquests, the mailing offers prospects a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate when they test-drive a new Volvo, such as the featured S40 sedan or V50 station wagon, before Jan. 31.
The gift certificate is highlighted on the address face of the 6" x 9" outer, while the back side of the outer alludes to the surprise freemium inside, featuring square images of different road terrain and weather conditions, images of a red Volvo S40 and a red Volvo V50, and the teaser, "Happy trails and gripping fun enclosed!"
Inside the mailing is an 81/2" x 11" letter with a detachable perforated gift certificate at the bottom; a 51/2" x 81/2" insert comparing the S40 and V50 to other vehicles in their classes; a BRE; and the mystery freemiuma 51/2" x 81/4" sheet of magnets.
Included on the magnet sheet are the four square road scenes pictured on the outer; the mini S40 and V50 (sized perfectly to fit on the road scenes); blocks with the car names; the headline slogan, "Volvo all wheel drive. Sticks like a magnet"; and Volvo's version of Magnetic Poetry, with words like "grips," "sticks" and "exhilarating."
According to Elaina Verhoff, CRM manager, Volvo Cars of North America LLC, this mailing is the first time Volvo has used the magnet sheet in a test-drive offer direct mail piece. She says the magnets have succeeded in appealing to the younger target audience.
"This has definitely been a mailing that has gotten much attention," says Verhoff. "The magnets provided a fun, interactive way for customers to experience the vehicles by sticking them on the different backgrounds and creating Volvo 'poetry' with the word magnets."
What gives the mailing a cohesive feel is not only the incorporation of the magnet's images on the outer, but the consistent color and font, and the "magnet" metaphor in all elements of the mailing.
This is most apparent in the letter, which features the headline: "Now you can stick to whatever path you choose." This type of play-on-words is threaded throughout the letter with the lines, "All you need is unstoppable confidencethe kind that grips you ..." and, "Adhere to everything but convention ..."
Volvo also tested this mailing with a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and with no gift certificate, "randomly assign[ing] offer versions to be able to measure how the different offers performed," says Verhoff.
At press time, the offer still had not expired. But given that the goal of the mailing, according to Verhoff, was to "drive incremental Volvo test-drives and purchases," results have been positive, "with thousands of test-drive redemptions processed."