A Note on Repositioning
A number of years ago, the pre-printed Post-it Note made its debut inside a direct mail package. In 2003, it was announced as a new way to enhance an outer envelope or self-mailer. The marketing team at 3M (producer of the Post-it), who conceived of the idea, even received recognition for piloting the concept from the U.S. Postal Service in the form of a "Special Achievement Award" at the National Postal Forum in 2003.
But, we had yet to spy a marketer using these "repositionable" Post-it Notes on the outside of its direct mail efforts. In October, however, inc.jet Inc., a company of Hewlett-Packard partner Gunther International, dropped a 9" x 6" self-mailer (812INCJET1003) for its digital imaging products featuring the signature "Canary Yellow" Post-it.
The use of the Post-it was a new twist for this marketer and seemingly an appropriate tie-in for a B-to-B campaign, since Post-its essentially mean "business." The front of the mailing featured an enlarged (and very crisp) image of an ink cartridge and sparse copy including only the inc.jet and HP logos, and the phrases, "The Source for HP Ink" and "Guaranteed Price, Guaranteed Quality, Guaranteed Performance, Guaranteed Delivery." The flip side of the mailing featured the Post-It Note positioned in the middle of copy and images promoting HP color and black ink cartridges, the company's Fast-dry cartridges, and the HP Bulk Ink System.
"As a manufacturer of ink jet printers and supplier of ink, we wanted a direct mail campaign that spoke to both of those audiences, directly and indirectly," explains Gary Schaefer, director of marketing for Gunther International. "The direct purpose of the campaign was to approach users of HP ink in the mail-addressing industry with our sales message. By working with a customer of ours, Asmark (who uses our jet.engine printer and had the Post-it labeling capability), it allowed us to indirectly show our audience the quality of print capable when using the jet.engine and also a unique way (the Post-it) of utilizing it."
In order to enable marketers like inc.jet to custom-print and apply these 3" x 3" notes to high-quantity mailings, the notes are supplied on rolls, and the adhesive strip was widened (to approximately 1") to fasten the notes more securely to their carriers. In a test mailing of 10,000 envelopes, 99.75 percent of the Post-it Notes arrived intact, according to 3M.
While it's still early for inc.jet to tally overall results for its recent mailing, Schaefer says, "The immediate response has been very good, producing 50 new customers thus far."
In addition, since the Post-it featured the inc.jet logo and the company's phone number, as well as a "Free Shipping!" offer, Schaefer notes, "Besides catching one's attention, the added benefit of the Post-it is that by placing pertinent ordering information on it, it can be detached and saved, acting as a reminder for future purchases. So, we expect the Post-it to keep working for us well into the future."