Direct Mail Spotlight: Life Line Screening
To truly reach time-crunched consumers in the mail, marketers must find ways to pique their interest. Sometimes, that means straying from the norm-even if the norm typically pulls the best results.
That's exactly what Independence, Ohio-based preventative health screening provider Life Line Screening did in one of its six controls. Over the years, standard white envelope efforts have pulled the best results for Life Line Screening's target audience of adults 50 years of age and older, and each of its controls-it mails every 10 days for different groups of screenings and rotates five to six control packages so recipients don't receive the same package more than once a year-used white outers ... until a year ago.
Then, an outside designer and writer came up the idea to show what it is Life Line does through the mailing itself. And what Life Line does is look inside patients' arteries to help prevent health problems. So instead of using a normal white envelope, the designer and writer decided to go with a translucent, larger envelope, with a diagram of an artery jumping out at the prospect and the copy, "We can actually see inside your arteries - to help prevent strokes, aneurysms and heart disease."
"We use ultrasound technology to see inside your arteries to see if there's something that's going to cause problems," describes Trish Mathe, Life Line Screening's director of database marketing. "The writer and the designer just kind of took it literally and said, ‘Ooh, we can look inside your arteries. I wonder [how it'd work] if we did a piece that brought that to life, so to speak.'"
Naturally, Mathe was hesitant to give the new look the green light. "I was like, ‘I'm not doing that, way too expensive. It's not going to work,'" she admits. "For our offer and our target audience, what we've found over the years is that the more promotional or flashy our invitations are, the worse they do. ... With the added expense on top of it, it was really a risk that I wasn't sure about."