Direct Mail Strategy: What’s in Your Wallet?
What do you carry in your wallet? If it’s like mine, it’s filled with discount devices—gift cards, savings certificates, coupons, and other ink-on-paper reminders of money-saving offers you have good intentions of using.
If you’re a direct marketer who sends these incentives to customers and prospects by direct mail, your challenge is three-fold.
First, you’ve got to get your mailing opened and read. Next, you’ve got to communicate your offer in such a way that it’s retained and used. And finally, your discount device has got to be as durable as it is memorable, so it doesn’t disintegrate or get lost in the growing stack of stuff that’s filling your customer’s or prospect’s wallet.
Assuming your discount offer is based on a sound marketing strategy, the key elements of an effective discount device include 1) the name you give it, 2) the manner in which you promote it, and (3) its physical qualities such as size, shape and fabrication.
As with any component in a direct mail piece, the name you give your discount device establishes its importance and value in the eyes of the recipient. Is it a savings certificate, gift card, reward card, coupon, special offer card, or premium savings certificate? Which has the greatest perceived value? The answer depends, in part, on your target audience and the savings percentage or dollar amount you offer.
A $500 gift card (good on purchases of $2,000 or more) from a furniture store I’ve never frequented may or may not be as valuable to me as the $10 savings certificate (good on any purchase) that I received from my favorite store, Chico’s, tucked inside a birthday card. In most cases, a certificate or gift card generally has a higher perceived value than a coupon that’s commonly associated with supermarket packaged goods. For B-to-B offers, it may be more appropriate to send a savings voucher or credit voucher.