Examined Efforts: Financial
Financial mailers sure know how to dress up the legalese. Two very different control efforts stood out from the pack due to striking design. One was a test or redesign effort from Barclays Bank Delaware offering a Platinum MasterCard. The other was an American Express Blue Sky travel rewards credit card offer.
The Barclays Bank Delaware effort has been mailing since October 2005 and dropped with a refreshing redesign in September (Archive Code #540-636767-0809).
Keeping the copy nearly identical, the redesign accommodates a new offer, updated from 0 percent average percentage rate for six months to 15 months with a lower 8.9 percent
rate after the introductory period, compared to the previous 11 percent or more.
The new design calls out the card’s benefits more clearly—beginning with three circular callouts on the 4? x 8? outer announcing, “No Annual Fee,” “0% Fixed Intro APR,” and “quick 30 second reply form.” Originally, the same three teasers were in a text block next to the address with only a highlighter showing the 30-second application claim. The MasterCard logo only appears on the back of the redesigned outer, along with another callout bubble, “Accept Instantly by phone or online.” The font has been updated throughout to a sans-serif type—which is cleaner and more modern. Inside, the benefits have jumped from the left side of the letter—where they used to sit as a plain text sidebar—to the right side of the letter inside the same colorful floating circles. It also looks like the bank is testing the package with less bells; the benefits have been condensed onto one small buckslip, instead of two. Headlines and icons, rather than straight copy bullet points, make the smaller buckslip easy to read. Keeping tabs on this mailer will reveal whether a fresh design can boost results.
Travelling in a 4¼? x 9¼? light blue outer, the American Express Blue Sky card offer stands out, with a unique window on the back outer showing a passport peeking through (Archive code #540-172047-0808B).
Directly under the window are three benefits: “0% APR For 15 Months On Purchases,” “0 Travel Restrictions,” and “$0 No Annual Fee.” The front outer is plain, with the copy, “Travel Documents Enclosed For:” just above the prospect’s name, along with the American Express logo and a Standard mail stamp. Inside, the travel theme continues with
a mock boarding pass perfed to the top of the letter and an enclosed Blue Sky passport brochure. The passport is the highlight of the mailing with live stamps and a plastic sample card spot-glued to the left side, and a list of benefits to the right that details the card’s “0 Travel Restrictions” claim. The back of the passport has a sticker with phone, online and mail response channels highlighted. IDM