A New Plan That Calls for Simplicity
It's short. It's sweet. And it packs a lot of punch. It's the concept behind Verizon's new direct mail winback package for a new long distance calling plan.
On the back of the 6" x 9" white outer envelope (808VERIZO0803B) is an image of a nickel in the shape of the United States. Seeing such a familiar image in a new format is eye-catching, and the surrounding white space helps set the dramatic effect.
The only words that interrupt the white space are "5¢ now goes a long way."
The U.S.-shaped nickel encompasses the plan's primary message in one arresting image: Long distance calls to anywhere in the country, anytime, for 5 cents a minute.
The new plan, launched in July, was created to fill a gap in Verizon's product line. "We have a lot of compelling packages," explains Elaina Mango, Verizon's executive director of consumer marketing, but, she adds, the company saw a gap in the products they were offering and what some customers needed.
Verizon's solution: "Simplify," says Mango. Verizon's goal was to offer a product to fill the gap in the marketplace with a simple message that people could easily understand. "There are no hidden costs," says Mango, no time schedules for applicable rates. "It is truly a plan to get 5 cents a minute across the entire U.S."
The very simple nickel image coincides with that simplicity, as does the rest of the package. A red, black and white insert is unostentatious in its design and its cover message: "Now we've got unlimited reasons for you to come back." When you open the folded insert, your eyes are immediately drawn to the large, white text on the red background that reads: "Come back to Verizon for our new unlimited local calling packages at great low prices." Your eye then moves to red boxes on a black background that
announce two plans: the "Local Package Standard" and the "Local Package Basic." Both packages offer:
* unlimited local calling;
* 5¢/min. state-to-state long distance; and
* call waiting, caller ID and three-way calling.
The "Local Package Basic," however, also offers unlimited toll calling, home voice mail and speed dialing.
The letter design is crisp and clean as well, not unlike many of Verizon's mailings. A hand is shown flipping a nickel in the air, which again catches the eye. The letter is personalized, and begins: "How far will we go to get you to come back to Verizon? How about all across the U.S.?" This sentence ties into the U.S.-shaped nickel design as well as insinuates that Verizon would go to great lengths to bring back its valued customers.
A subhead reads: "Go further than ever before on just a nickel," and the postscript adds: "See how far 5¢ can take you when you come back to Verizon. ... "
All copy in the letter is written clearly and concisely to go along with Verizon's goal to simplify.
Verizon tests almost all mailings against a control letter, says Mango. And they currently are testing this new package in retention mailings as well. "We're sending it to customers to tell them the newsthat we might have a better package for them and want to offer it to them first."
While the concept phase "took forever," says Mango, "when we finally got [to the nickel concept], we knew we had a winner."
And they weren't wrong. "The package has exceeded expectations for both target groups," she says. "We are elated."
Verizon currently has no plans to use the concept outside of its direct mail packages, but does plan to continue to mail this piece, says Mango, "as long as the product is out." The current offer, which promised a waiver on the $5.95 monthly fee, had an October deadline and will obviously change for upcoming mailings. The U.S.-shaped nickel, however, looks like it is here to stay.