Make Them Take a Look
The sight of a sweepstakes among a pile of mail can be enough to make some recipients throw the package in the trash. Some see the familiar name of the mailer on the outer envelope and discard it without ever opening up the package.
Many times, sweepstakes and the offers with them differ little from campaign to campaign, giving otherwise interested recipients no reason to get inside.
To increase response, designers are dressing up sweepstakes in Priority Mail or Federal Express-style packages. This presentation gives a mailing a look of importance, making it more likely that a potential customer will take a peek inside.
Sweepstakes mailers have been using these more elaborate packages to attract attention since coming under legal fire for using statements like, "You're a winner," on outer envelopes.
First seen here in July, a three-dimensional mailing from The Reader's Digest Association shows a new tactic for sweepstakes marketers (201READIG0799B).
Using a 4"x7 3/4" box that is 1" deep, Reader's Digest has found a new way to get potential customers into its sweepstakes package and to its one-year subscription offer.
The box is an immediate attention-getter, with the type, "First Class," splashed across the front in navy blue over a white backdrop. A red and white cascading design on the bottom completes the stars-and-stripes color scheme, similar to First-Class packages used by the U.S. Postal Service.
Simply moving the box creates a jingly sound that further piques curiosity about the contents of the mailing. Once inside, prospects find a small, plastic container housing two keys, which Reader's Digest claims could fit the two vehicles being awarded as part of the sweepstakes. Sweepstakes prizes total $6.2 million.
The sweepstakes and subscription offer are enclosed in a 3 3/4" x 7 3/4" envelope that easily could have been sent on its own.
The recipient is given two envelopes -- one just for the sweepstakes entry and the other for both the entry and a year's subscription to Reader's Digest priced at $13.96.
Dawn Zier, marketing manager for Reader's Digest, said the package "was an evolution."
"We continually evolve our packages," she said. "We had success with Fed Ex-looking packages and decided to integrate that with the success we had with the brown kraft box and came up with this."
On top of the added expense of producing a box versus an envelope, Zier said the box needed to be mailed First Class because it wouldn't hold up as well if sent Standard Class.
"It is a very expensive promotion," she said, but added that the cost was more than made up for in response.
Despite the package's success, Zier said the box may not be rolled out again.
She said Reader's Digest tries to keep the look of its mailings fresh. She said the cost of the campaign is also a factor in deciding whether it is sent again.
"It's an option," she said of sticking with the box. "We prefer not to roll out the same package two times in a row.
"There are issues, because it is a very expensive package."