Extra Flap Emphasizes the Teaser
Much of the time in direct mail, the more creative format improvements are reserved for consumer efforts, rather than business-to-business mailingsunless, of course, you're talking about three-dimensional packages.
But b-to-b marketers are beginning to catch up to their consumer counterparts. Some of this innovation can be attributed to the need to version messages in direct mail packages to several audiences, without printing individual efforts for each segment.
The Who's Mailing What! Archive collected four mailings from Capital One in October and November that target the small business market. Each mailing featured a tailored offer message that promotes the firm's Visa Business Platinum credit card product (544CAPONE1001A/B/C, 544CAPONE-1101D).
The creative approach used to make the custom messages stand out takes its roots from the bangtail envelope. Instead of using the bangtail flap from the 41/2" x 9" outer envelope as an order form, these efforts devote this space to teaser questions that suggest a benefit. The answers are printed below the flap, which is sealed with repositionable glue and perforated, in case prospects want to remove it.
Both questions and answers are tailored to promote features that are of interest to different audience segments. For example, one of the flaps reads, "Looking for something better than ONE low intro rate?" The answer underneath reads, "Try TWO low intro rates! 0% purchase APR until March 2002, then 4.9% fixed until September 2002."
The front of the envelopes is plain, with only a window and cornercard copy that reads "Approval Depart-ment."
Inside the envelopes, the single-page sales letters begin with the same feature-and-benefit message from the outer envelope. Application forms and BREs are the only inclusions for most versions, except the offer that promotes a Capital One Dining program; this effort throws in a four-color, glossy brochure that explains the benefits of using the card to get discounts at participating restaurants.