When analyzing direct mail efforts, one of the things the Who’s Mailing What! Archive team looks at is offer type, which we break down by acquisition, retention, expire, lead generation or upgrade. Overall, the majority of packages received by the Archive in a given month are acquisition or retention efforts—with a much heavier skew toward the former than the latter. In August, for example, some 94.2 percent of mailings fell into these two categories.
But telecommunications is one sector that does not always follow this norm. Sure, the sector sends its share of acquisition packages, but it puts some heft into its upgrade efforts as well. In August, upgrades accounted for 17.4 percent of all telecom mailings. Compare that to the other sectors, which combined to mail just 1.3 percent upgrade efforts, and it’s easy to see that if you want to study upgrade offers, this is the sector to watch.
One of the reasons for all these upgrades is the recent trend in telecom toward bundled services, such as cable and Internet, home and wireless phone lines, etc. Verizon is one mailer that has invested in such programs—and done the direct mail to back them up. For example, the service provider mailed a hefty 6˝ x 9˝ self-mailer to current wireless customers inviting them to “get maximum connection for work and play” by subscribing to its high-speed wireless Internet for computers and PDAs or its entertainment-focused V CAST system. The mailing also offers customizable plans to meet the customer’s bundling needs (Archive code #808-636941-0608D).
Another Verizon mailing, a more slender 4-1/4˝ x 9-1/4˝ envelope effort, includes just a one-page letter asking the recipient to upgrade to a bundled fiber-optic Internet and phone service plan. “Want more from your Internet and phone service?” asks the letter’s salutation (Archive code #808-636770-0608A). A similarly sized effort includes a letter that begins by thanking the customer for choosing “America’s most reliable wireless,” and then goes on to sell him on an “exclusive” upgraded plan for best customers. It also offers to add 100 minutes to his plan every month at no cost if he signs a three-year contract. This offer is repeated on a dedicated insert. A second insert offers him a $30 savings off of a phone upgrade (Archive code #808-636941-0608B). On the B-to-B front, Verizon mailed a 6˝ x 9˝ effort—which again includes only a letter—offering to let a business customer upgrade to its Freedom for Business plan (Archive code #808-636770-0608B).