Anatomy of a Control: The Plum Card
In these trying economic times, small business owners are undoubtedly on the lookout for ways to save. Yet, when it comes to opening a business credit card, prospects also are wary of potential fine print and loopholes that may trip them up in the future. In today's economic climate, a little transparency and an offer that does not seem "too good to be true" go a long way.
In its July mailing, sent to small business prospects, American Express OPEN used simple design and clear copy to showcase how its product can help businesses save. "Plum customers tend to be established businesses with larger revenues. A business needs to have a strong cash position in order to take advantage of the product," says Courtney Goldstein, director of card acquisition for Plum Card.
The control mailing first went out in May 2008 and has been in the mailstream for more than a year. It arrives in a 8" x 5-3/4" white outer, with a metallic sticker in the return address block, designed to look like a tiny version of the Plum Card that the mailing offers. Inside are a one-page letter with terms on the back, a one-page application and a BRE (Archive code #544-172047-0907).
A collaborative effort between two of American Express' agencies, Digitas and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the mailing is branded with the American Express logo and general look and feel. Plum, or purple-colored, fonts and graphic design accents on the outer, letter and application form help establish the specific Plum Card's brand as well. "The [Plum Card] product has a unique visual look and feel that we try to promote in every communication," says Goldstein.
On the outer envelope, directly above the address window, sits a testimonial from Inc.com, Inc. magazine's website, which delivers content geared toward small businesses and entrepreneurs. Goldstein says past research supports the use of such testimonials from respected sources on the outer because they add credibility to the marketing piece.