Control of the Month: Tauck Creates Experiences
Hyperbole? Maybe. But the letter writer's emphasis on customer service extends to pricing: "You're free from worrying about extra costs... you have peace of mind knowing in advance the cost of your vacation." And unlike other tours that crimp independence, this operator's are promised to be "a well-chereographed blend of sightseeing and time at leisure."
The letter's closing all but promises a "perfect vacation," based on the company's 85 years of experience, as well as its commitment to " family values" and to "exceed your expectations." But in case that's not enough to generate a positive response (by mail, phone or website), there's a four-page, 11" x 17" brochure included. This is where the copy from the front of the envelope comes in. The inside spread lists the company's 10 most popular cruises and trips, with a photo and description of each.
And those reasons why people love Tauck? There are ten of them listed on one of the outside panels, each reinforcing or briefly expanding on a point made in the letter. To further lift response, a tri-fold insert is also included in the package, chock-full of testimonials and pictures from travelers with stories about their "good times."
Although the premium gets a few mentions, this mailing succeeds because it creates the impression of a tour operator that is different from its competitors, one that is focused on delivering a positive, distinctive and personalized experience for its guests. That's something you can't put on a calendar.
Paul Bobnak is the director of the Who's Mailing What! Archive, the extensive online direct mail library that lets you see the packages other companies have mailed, so you can learn from their tests and controls.