Wake Up and Smell the Savings
For many Americans, their day doesn’t truly begin until they’ve had that first cup of coffee. There’s a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts or [name your favorite coffee sheller] on seemingly every corner. Coffee is popular, and coffee gets noticed.
High-speed internet and digital phone provider Qwest plays right into America’s love affair with its highly caffeinated (or decaffeinated) morning beverage of choice. On a uniquely designed 5-1/2? x 8-1/2? self-mailer lies a picture of a coffee cup with three check boxes on it accompanied by icons — a mouse, a TV and a phone — representing Qwest’s version of communications giant Comcast’s triple play. Next to the cup of joe is the clever teaser: “ALL THE BUZZ. NONE OF THE CAFFEINE.” Qwest keeps with the play on words throughout, demonstrated on the reverse side with the text, “CAUTION: The offer you are about to enjoy is extremely HOT,” with the words “caution” and “hot” in red typeface.
When you open the first flap, there is the same coffee cup, this time with the three check boxes checked, and the copy, “Get INTERNET, DIGITAL TV and PHONE for … ABOUT AS MUCH AS YOUR DAILY LATTE.” Talk about heady copywriting. And it continues the coffee theme after stating its offer: Qwest provides three great services — internet, TV and phone — for less than $3 a day … “or what you pay for your morning latte,” as the copy reads. It’s quite a brilliant way to put its offer in relatable terms. Each day, Qwest customers get high-speed internet, DirecTV service and unlimited long distance phone coverage all for the price of a cup of coffee.
The designers and copywriters use many a best practice, using an offer expiration date, bullet-pointing the features of each service and reiterating the benefits: “All three for less than $3 a day. That’s only $74.98 a month.” Qwest also encourages the greatest possible response by providing three ways to respond: Call its toll-free number, click on its website (quest.com) or visit a Qwest store. Hard to beat that.
As sound as Qwest is with its direct mail best practices, what sets this mailer apart is the design and copywriting. The self-mailer uses high-end stock and color tones that reinforce the coffee theme. And the copywriting itself, from the teasers on the outer to relating the cost per day to that of a cup of coffee to the emphasized call to action — “GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT. Call today and savor the savings!” — really drives the point home in a way any American can understand.
Conversely, internet and phone competitor CLEAR goes the more traditional direct mail route with its holiday offer. Mailed in a plain white #10 envelope, the teaser simply reads, “This is not junk mail.” Naturally, that leads recipients to wonder, “Well, if it’s not junk mail, what is it?” Curiosity draws them inside.
Once there, the reader is greeted with three components: a one-page letter, a trifold insert that highlights the benefits of the service and a sort of lift note that describes all the places you can access CLEAR’s high-speed mobile internet. Much like the Qwest mailer, CLEAR lays out the offer and benefits utilizing all the best practices: short sentences, bullet points, bold text, etc. The key difference lies in the straightforward way CLEAR lays out its offer, opposed to the coffee theme utilized by Qwest.
Regardless, CLEAR does an effective job communicating its $55 per month for life bundle offer of home and mobile internet. In addition, CLEAR uses the insert as an opportunity to upsell recipients with its unlimited local and long distance phone service, listing its benefits in bullet points. And much like Qwest, CLEAR provides a phone number and website for recipients to respond.
But the similarities end there. CLEAR doesn't try to get cute or clever the way Qwest did. Instead, it reiterates its offer in, no pun intended, clear language: "Hurry, call or click today to guarantee your rate for life."
It's a different way to showcase a similar offer to Qwest's; it just depends on which cup of coffee you prefer — caffeinated (Qwest) or decaf (CLEAR).