Direct Mail Trends of 2001
A corollary to the multiple window envelope trend is the heavier usage of translucent envelopes in 2001. Instead of brainstorming what copy and graphics to use to get prospects to open the envelope, companies chose to reduce the outer envelope's role to being a carrier.
To make this strategy work, you need contents that get the point across immediately; for example, Ask Jeeves created a folder that prominently featured its free umbrella offer on both sides of its 6˝x 9˝ translucent envelope package.
Ghosts of Controls Past
When a company finds the perfect blend of copy, offer and creative, it has attained control nirvana. Several companies are still mailing the same control packages developed five, 10 and more than 20 years ago.
In the past year, it seems as if a few long-term controls got knocked off, only to return with a vengeance. In particular, the 9˝x12˝ envelope mailing created by the late Bill Jayme and his design partner, Heikke Ratalahti, for Health magazine was beaten by a polybag mailing from copywriter Heidi Hoyt Wells and designer Rebecca DePriest. A few tests later, and the 9˝x12˝ package was back on top.
Because direct mail results in the 21st century have been a little unpredictable so far, marketers can't be too sure of what's going to keep working in the mail. Also, tighter marketing budgets probably have resulted in the stalled development of new creative. The upshot is that marketers are dipping into their file cabinets to unearth previous control packages.
Who knows? What appealed to an audience in 1988 just might work in this economic climate, too.
Creating more personal packages
From business magazines to professional seminars, Web sites to mainstream broadcast channels, the focus is on marketing databases. Suddenly, the masses have caught on to what power lies with having a robust file of customer information.