Snap Into a Soft Sell
When trying to sell an abstract product or service through the maillike business software, for examplequestions abound: How do I convey the message comprehensively? And through which channel? How do I coordinate copy and creative so the prospect comes away with a full understanding of what I'm selling?
Fortunately for the folks at Best Software, a provider of automated, business-management solutions for nonprofit and for-profit organizations, the target recipients for a direct mail effort dropped in July already have a basic understanding of the product; they are existing customers. The challenge, though, was to convince recipients of the 6" x 11" snap-pack effort to upgrade their ACT! contact- and customer-manager software package and sign up for ACT! 2005something completely new and different (836BESSOF0704).
For starters, on the front face of the outer wrapper, Best Software employs a 3-D, four-color image of the actual box that the software comes in, to give the piece instant brand credibility. It features the adjoining teaser copy:
"Sell more. Do more. than ever before! ... All New Version, Upgrade to ACT! 2005 ... ACT! 2005 combines the features you love, with new features you've been asking for to help you Sell more and Do more than ever before."
On the right-hand side of the outer is a small, credit-card sized, die-cut window, displaying the following copy from inside: "Top 10 reasons to upgrade to ACT! 2005 ... Discover why ACT! 2005 is the best ACT! ever." When a recipient tears off the side strip, she then slides out the 11" x 17", three-paneled brochure, which is equipped with its own perforated BRE. On the panel facing the recipientbefore unfolding the brochureBest Software lists the 10 reasons prospects should upgrade, in plain black type, starting with:
#1 New Company Records
#2 Track More Opportunity Information
#3 Enhanced Database Synchronization
According to Peter Carey, vice president of marketing for Best Software, the "top 10 reasons" were first identified through customer research as the most compelling changes and updates to the software. And, Carey notes, the snap-pack provides the perfect format to effectively tell the story.
"We chose this design to stimulate engagement among our customer base, to try to get them inside the piece," he says. "One of the reasons we went with this format was that we needed the additional real estate that a traditional self-mailer can not afford."
The extra space on the brochure was used to flesh out each selling point with a digital image of the software at workhow it would look on the prospect's computerand explanatory copy.
This particular format has been used before by Best Software divisions, but never for ACT! software products. Carey says while it's premature to gauge response results, the initial response was positive.