Bo Diddley Knows Direct Mail
Bo Diddley wrote a song that said you can’t judge an apple by looking at a tree/you can’t judge honey by looking at the bee/you can’t judge a daughter by looking at the mother/you can’t judge a book by looking at the cover. But savvy consumers are singing a different tune as they judge the contents of your direct mail package the moment they take it out of their mailboxes.
With Direct Mail, Seconds Count
Direct mail comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, across many forms: letters, postcards, self-mailers, dimensional mail, catalogs and more. The design and the offer inside are limited only by the imaginations of the designer and marketer. But that’s not to say there aren’t best practices and formats for achieving your return on marketing investment goals. It helps to understand the capabilities of all the production platforms now available, in order to make the right choice at the right time.
Participants of focus groups across vertical markets consistently report they make the decision to open or recycle a direct mail package within seconds of seeing it. That means marketers must have a stable of champion formats with unique sizes and feels, variable messaging and clear calls to action (CTAs) that create a sense of urgency for responding.
If a prospect receives a package and thinks, “Why do they keep sending this to me?” the opportunity to convert the sale and build brand equity is dead, wasted and gone. Creating a mailing cadence strategy reduces package fatigue and extends the life cycle of each creative. The cadence might include a mix of forms (e.g., envelope, self-mailer, postcard) and sizes from “monarch” to “stretch.” Even something as simple as changing the color of the outer envelope from white to gray can create the promise of a different offer inside.