Direct Mail Spotlight: Lindblad Expeditions
Book Now! Great Deal If You Book in the Next 30 Days! Loud, in-your-face travel brochures urging consumers to get ready for that next vacation, ASAP! We've all seen them, and with the economy in shambles and consumers pinching pennies, there's never been a more inappropriate time for such initiatives.
With that in mind, adventure cruise line Lindblad Expeditions shifted gears from its typical brochure approach, instead opting for a series of self-mailers that take a much less aggressive selling approach. "What we wanted to do was put something out in a series of formats that was different from what we normally do," shares Elizabeth Crabill, vice president of marketing for Lindblad. "We wanted something that had less of a focus on ‘book now, book now, book now' and more of a focus on immersing the reader or viewer in what the experience is, in what we do."
To accomplish that, Lindblad came up with the concept of mailing a series of DVD premium self-mailers centered on learning the Lindblad way rather than getting prospects to book trips. In its Galápagos Expedition DVD package mailed to 100,000 prior customers and prospects before the holidays in December—the second in the series (the first had the same format for a trip to polar regions mailed in early 2008)—the 6" x 8" self-mailer has a photograph of a tropical bird on the front along with a small sticker to "RECEIVE UP TO 25% OFF our expedition," and a number to "Call for details!" The mailer then opens to a three-page spread with photographs of seals and a welcome message detailing the freemium DVD, the DVD itself on the second page and a smaller, 13-page travel guide/brochure spot-glued to the final page (Archive code #501-653263-0812).
Reflecting its high-end demographic, the mailer uses photography taken by Lindblad staff during expeditions, previewing what follows in the DVD. "It has a strong visual impact," notes Crabill. "It's a premium package, but the purpose was to focus on the content and DVD, not so much on dates, not so much on rates, but focusing on getting people immersed in the experience."