Activity Highlights: Financial Services
As everyone knows, there's less mail. The US. Postal Service projects a decline, from a high of 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006 all the way down to 170 billion for 2010. Financial services mail, of course, is the major reason for the big drop. Because of the global credit crunch, credit card companies are sending less mail, and same goes for banks and mortgage lenders. And it's not likely to change anytime soon, as a recent report from The Federal Reserve noted that nearly all major banks were not going to ease lending standards in the next year.
But some banks and credit card companies are trying to do new things in the mailstream—and seemingly acknowledge the mood that most prospects are in. ING Direct, for example, remains one of the more savvy mailers. It's small, orange-branded (as always) 4-1/4" x 6" postcard is probably one of least expensive but more effective mailers that Paul (archive direct of the Who's Mailing What! Archive) and I have seen in some time. Next to the outline of a house is the copy, "The Mortgage for Savers." And "5 years. 4.25% fixed rate (4.29% APR)" hovers above the famed orange ball and the mortgage program name, "Easy Orange." In other words, a strong offer, which is followed with unusually long, and therefore small, copy on the back of the postcard. This copy asks, "Want to own your house faster and save money along the way?" following that up with a "How it works" description that emphasizes free biweekly payments among other features. The call to action is only a URL (Archive code #535-640022-0906).
An even less common format was chosen by Citibank, which used a 6" x 9-1/4" self-mailer that arrives folded and spot-glued so the top panel only comes about halfway down the mailer. A huge teaser, "Your checking account is pointless," sits at top and underneath, copy notes that you can "Get up to 20,000 ThankYou Points when you open a Citibank regular checking account." Opening the top flap reveals a letter inside, which shows the prospect "how it works"; the bottom shows pictures of three rewards for certain point levels, such as a golf bag and airfare (Archive code #536-171691-0906B).