Archive Observations: A Look at the Ex-Files
Three offers from March's mailstream illustrate the importance of setting the right tone in renewing a former customer. Discover Card (Archive code #540-174144-0903C) mailed a blind #9 OSE with an offer to an ex-cardholder for its More Card. "You are important to us, and we want to do everything to win you back," the letter begins, then goes on to a standard pitch. The opening of the letter for DIRECTV (Archive code #581-638018-0903A) is a little less effusive: "We've missed you." In both mailings, the sales copy is identical to their acquisition efforts.
Standing in sharp contrast is a dead expire effort for the financial newsletter Morningstar Mutual Funds (Archive code #710-706343-0903). The teaser on the #10 OSE, "We've missed you—and we want you back!" is followed by bullet points promising "Enhancements," "Extra Content" and an "Old-Friends Discount." The letter inside acknowledges the "difficult market," but offers reassurance to one who "has benefited from our reports and commentaries." The substantial discount and 30-day risk-free period also incentivize the customer to renew the relationship.
The onset of Spring means the annual explosion of offers for outdoor home and garden care, often with a maximum use of four-color photography to make any homeowner green with envy. A 5-1/4" x 8-1/4" single postcard for Lawn Doctor (Archive code #356-171895-0903B) shows a smiling family enjoying their "beautiful and green" lawn. A 6" x 9-1/2" single postcard for SavATree (Archive code #356-717584-0903) likewise features a family, but this time tending a tree. An offer by Scotts Co. (Archive code #356-174122-0903A) at first glance appears to be some sort of local tax bill; the gray OSE's only front copy is "Property Update." The letter inside is mostly devoid of color. Instead, the offer copy is all about the special price for the first customized lawn treatment for the season. The back of the letter spells out five additional reasons to order the service.