Direct Mail Strategy: Show Them How Much You Care
Coding: If you’re mailing greeting cards, make sure you understand what coding will appear above and below the address. The U.S. Postal Service requires bar coding below the address block. Whether it’s applied by your mailing house or the post office, a bar code will be there. In addition to USPS requirements, there are a variety of marketing reasons why mailers may choose to include a numeric code above the address block. Make sure you know your company’s plans for using this type of coding so you’re not surprised by its appearance. Always review an exact mock-up of how your greeting card mailing will appear as it arrives in your customer’s mailbox. In looking at my samples, I noticed the more personal the mailing appearance (live stamp, postmark, the appearance of handwritten addressing), the less likely a numeric code was used above the address.
Copy & Creative: Because greeting cards are perceived as personal, your copy, design, paper stock and other creative elements should work together to retain this personal quality. Do what is appropriate for your objective, audience, offer and the format.
1. Weigh the pros and cons of using outer envelope teaser copy (Thank you. We’re glad you found us ... Surprise! Happy Birthday. Gift Certificate Enclosed.). Decide whether or not a teaser appears too promotional.
2. If using teaser copy, make a conscious decision regarding its placement (front panel, back flap, corner card).
3. Consider the value of investing in paper stock (texture, color, weight) rather than photography or four-color printing.
4. Does your offer require an insert to be activated and tracked? How can you create an insert that looks appropriate and doesn’t dilute the personal nature of the greeting card?
Used appropriately, the greeting card can be a powerful direct mail format. And no, I’m not saying this just because I live in Kansas City, the greeting card capital of the world!