Like all other months, in September our Archive was flooded with financial services mailings. But, this time around, a few unusual efforts stood out in the mailstream.
One came from Chase Manhattan Bank, which sent a 6˝ x 8-1/2˝ self-mailer to Disney Rewards Visa cardholders. Going with a self-mailer was rare, but so was adopting a Halloween theme for the mailing and cleverly tying it to the offer. For a limited time, the customer can use a 15 percent discount at Disneyshopping.com and/or at Disney’s retail stores. In addition to the savings obtained for using the card, the shopper also earns Disney Rewards Dollars. This is a good example of surrounding the customer while reinforcing loyalty and brand identity (Archive code #550-171665-0709C).
Speaking of rarely used formats, how about sending prospects a hand-written, blind envelope? That’s exactly what Advanta did with its recent #10 effort, which is most likely a small test. Inside, it’s nearly identical to its previous mailing, but the outer certainly isn’t, with no logo, no teaser copy, no company name in the corner card or on the back envelope flap. Instead, the address appears to have been hand-written, for real. Firmly in the gimmick category, it may fool a prospect into thinking this is personal mail and get them to at least open it. However, once she discovers that this is anything but personal mail, she may be even more likely to toss it in the waste bin than if it had been an honest outer. In other words, it’s an example of how getting opened shouldn’t be the only goal for a mailing and, additionally, there may be a cost for getting a prospect “inside” under false pretences (Archive code #544-174665-0709C).
In the trend department, both Ditech.com (in a #9 envelope) and World Savings (in a #10) reference the current interest rate crisis in their efforts and offer to refinance the prospect’s current mortgage at a lower, fixed rate. Both seek immediate attention with their one-page letters, with Ditech.com going pink (literally) and saying “ATTENTION” and telling the prospect to “apply now for a fixed rate that’s guaranteed never to increase” (Archive code #535-652445-0709).