Archive Observations: A Good Time To Look Back
Amidst the market turbulence in October, a number of mailings stopped offering free reviews of finances and investments. Instead, they are providing services to reassure prospects and help alleviate any financial stress.
Union Bank of California notes in its letter that ". . . in today's economy, you want to be sure to protect everything you've worked so hard for." The package, mailed in a #10 envelope, includes a three-panel brochure (opening to 8-1/2" x 11") reassuring the prospect of the bank's safety. Details about FDIC account limits, insurance and safety deposit boxes provide back up for the powerful keywords used: stability, security, and protection. As an incentive to visit a local branch for a "Financial Security Review," the letter includes a certificate for a free copy of Quicken Home Inventory Manager software (Archive code #537-672151-0810). An invitation-style offer from Fidelity Investments, mailed in a 5-1/2" x 7-1/2" OSE, promises confidence in the assistance provided by a company representative in developing a new plan and rebalancing one's portfolio. It was mailed several times in 2008 (Archive code #778-174076-0810).
On a side note, for the first time in 10 years of managing the Who's Mailing What! Archive, I've seen a offer from Ameriprise Financial specifically targeting women and their investment concerns. The teaser on the #10 OSE asks "How can you plan for the future when you're planning for everyone else's?" The letter inside, by Ameriprise's Executive VP Kim Sharan, elaborates on that fear. She identifies with the concerns faced by working mothers (lower wages, less time in the workforce) and offers a free copy of a retirement planning guide (Archive code #778-174399-0810).
Crossing The Line
Over the last 20 years, illegal immigration to the United States has been a hot button issue for many conservative nonprofits. Direct mail campaigns on this topic have usually covered a wide variety of concerns, like jobs, national security, amnesty or English as a national language. But in recent months, the fate of two Border Patrol agents has become a cause to rally support and raise money for border security organizations.