CIT Group’s Curt Ritter on Direct Mail for Branding Campaigns
When developing a direct mail campaign, the age-old challenge is creating a piece your target audience will open immediately. CIT Group Inc., a New York-based provider of commercial and consumer financial products, achieved a 100 percent open rate last January with a hand-delivered, space-age, secret agent-like direct mail package targeted to members of the media. Designed to publicize the launch of a new branding campaign for CIT, the mailing included a coded message, press release, survey campaign ad and decoder glasses. The branding message “see how CIT is redefining capital” was only visible when the recipients put on the decoder glasses. Soon after the deliveries, the company saw a significant increase in hits to a special landing page on its site, which was the call to action.
Why did the campaign work? The hand-delivered, “for your eyes only” envelope created a sense of urgency, while the 3-D glasses capitalized on recipients’ sense of nostalgia. The pieces were reminiscent of the 3-D movies “we all grew up with”, says Curt Ritter, CIT’s director of external communications and media relations. “We wanted to reach members of the media who don’t write about advertising, so we created a unique mail piece to grab their attention,” Ritter says. Here, he details how CIT planned and executed the mailing.
Target Marketing: What was your strategy when creating the mail piece to launch CIT’s new branding campaign?
Curt Ritter: The campaign strategy was to increase awareness among the media about CIT for our new global brand campaign. The challenge for financial services firms is to differentiate themselves among companies in the marketplace. Often, reporters are inundated with e-mails and direct mail pieces. We wanted to come up with a campaign that would break through the clutter in the newsroom. When working with Conshohocken, Pa.-based 20nine Design Studios, we thought this mailer would effectively create a sense of urgency to open the mailing itself.