Sprint Gets Involved
An effective mailing often engages recipients on several different levels. When communications providers Sprint and Nextel merged, the new Sprint had the task of introducing the combined brand to existing customers of both marketers. The solution came in the form of a square, three-paneled, fold-out self-mailer, with an added twist--a "flapper" element affixed to the interior center panel of the piece (Archive code #808-173857-0509B).
This effort was sent out as a single mail drop in early September 2005 and was one component in a direct campaign designed to inform customers about the companies' upcoming merger. Other components of the campaign included statement messaging, bill inserts and e-mail. "Our challenges were to reassure customers about the continuation of their current products and services; to excite them about everything the new Sprint offers; and to introduce them to the new brand," says Kathy Krueger, marketing communications manager at Sprint. Teaming up with Euro RSCG 4D, Sprint's direct marketing agency, the communications services marketer "developed an oversized, square format that stands out in the mail and announces the merger with a splash," describes Krueger. The bright yellow, 71/8" x 71/8" piece features the company's new tag line, "Yes you can," in large black letters on the front of the piece.
The graphic elements and copy inside specifically are designed to both answer customers' questions and give them a sense of what's to come. On the left-hand panel, the copy introduces the new company then goes on to emphasize that customers can expect a continuation of the same level of service, but also an increase in the types of offerings they now have available to them.
The middle panel features the removable "flapper," a 33/4" x 33/4" dimensional element with photographs of people representing Sprint's diverse range of customers and accompanying quotes describing how these customers can use the new Sprint's expanding products and services. These images are structured in a way that the recipient can rearrange the flaps to reveal a number of different combinations of photos and quotes. "Customers can remove this ... piece and flip through its four main configurations to see what the new Sprint will have to offerincluding picture mail, innovative handsets, flexible new calling plans and walkie-talkie service," Krueger notes. "This removable piece instantly engages customers and gets them involved with the new Sprint in a real, tangible way."
On the right-hand panel is a Q&A section that addresses key questions customers may have. "The combination of the more serious, reassuring copy throughout the base piece and the interactive, fun element of the flapper conveys to customers both the ongoing reliability and delivery of the services for which customers rely on their carriers, as well as the excitement of what their future together will offer," describes Krueger. In turn, she adds, Nextel customers received another version of the mailer which talked more directly to Nextel subscribers.
The primary differences included subtle changes within the outer headline and the Q&A section. A different version of the logo also was usedSprint together with Nextel. For both versions of the mailing, the main thrust was to leverage the equities of the new brand, including a sense of confidence, people-focused photography, a new logo, as well as the brand's signature colors: black and yellow. Designed to inform, the piece also aims to engage the marketer's various customers by grabbing their attention, but also giving them an incentive to get involved and interact with their mail in a fun wayand ultimately feel engaged by the marketer.