Chartis Uses a Shape Mailer to Lure Prospects In
The first goal for any direct mail campaign is to get noticed and opened ... and that's often the hardest part. There are any number of tactics marketers can use — big teasers, bright colors, fancy images. But insurance provider Chartis went a slightly different route with its latest control: a shape mailer featuring the image of a scuba diver.
The second of four mailers used in a series sent to high net worth prospects, the self-mailer is a funky design in a cloud/bubble-esque shape with smooth, rounded edges — no rectangular format or straight edges. With a scuba diver underwater jumping out at you in vibrant colors and the teaser, "CHARTIS Your world, insured," not to mention the unique shape, it's a creative piece that's impossible to ignore (Archive code #453-717857-0912; see thumbnails below).
"The interesting thing about this piece is the unique shape, size and material of the mailer," shares Tim Wood, vice president of business development for the Private Client Group division of Chartis. "When it comes out of a mailbox and you've got your handful of mail for the day, you can't help but notice it because of the color, because of the shape, the size, the vibrancy of the images."
To tie in to the scuba diver image, the reverse details the story behind the diver and how Chartis helped her out: "Her prized diamond bracelet was a gift to commemorate the birth of her child. When it fell off her wrist and into the water at the marina, she thought it was lost forever," it reads.
"But we understood the sentimental value of her bracelet," the mailer continues. "While most companies would simply pay the claim, we hired a professional diver to recover it safely and save the day." Talk about highlighting the unique selling proposition. With the promise of such dedicated insurance on full display, it's not hard to see why this control has been in the mail since 2007. And the unique look and feel of the design ensures prospects won't overlook the message.
"Insurance isn't something people typically wake up in the morning thinking about, so delivering our message in an eye-catching manner is crucial," admits Wood. "We want to compel the recipient to read it."
By all accounts, that's exactly what this mailer does. Though Chartis doesn't release individual mail piece results, Wood did share that the response is more than 2.5 times greater with this package than when the exact same image and message is produced on a 6" x 9" postcard. That response is measured in two ways. The mailer has an 800-number to call, so one way response is gauged is through phone calls received.
"We also have the ability to track when somebody that we've mailed something to receives a quote from us," says Wood. "So we do a little bit on the back-end side to see whether people are responding by going to their own insurance broker versus responding through our response mechanism."
Chartis has no plans of pulling this control anytime soon, but as sound direct marketing tactics would dictate, it is always looking for ways to beat its controls. With that in mind, Wood discloses that Chartis will be testing a format it calls "missing object, where there's going to be a large, sort of similar size to this — we haven't decided which kind of stock we're going to put it on yet — but it'll have a die-cut image taken out of the middle of the piece itself," says Wood. "So if it's a homeowner's insurance mailer, the home will be cut out. ... If it's going after artwork, the piece of art will be cut out. And we'll talk about what might be missing in their insurance program and how we can help fill that piece that's missing."
Regardless of the results, Chartis will continue to push the boundaries of the outer design to make the look and feel stand out among the crowd.