Direct Mail Strategy: Rev Up Your Response
While I'm not an advocate of adding extraneous elements to mailings for the sake of being clever, I've learned to appreciate the response-generating value of bells and whistles, gadgets, and gizmos when used appropriately.
I was schooled in the fundamentals of direct marketing while a senior writer at Fingerhut, and it was drilled into me that you never add anything to a control package unless it has the potential to increase response significantly. Moreover, that increase must more than pay for itself.
That's why I recommend testing such tactics first. See how successfully they: 1) grab your reader's attention and help your mail piece stand out in the stack; 2) increase getting your mail piece opened and read; and 3) support your benefit statements while increasing response. Here are some examples of what to test and why.
Grab Your Reader's Eye
Holograms and Lenticular Imaging. Don't hide these special effects inside your mailing. Maximize the bang you get for your buck by highlighting these images on a postcard or the outer panel of a self-mailer. Think of creative ways to incorporate these ever-changing images into your mailing. For instance, a favorite mailing of mine is a conference announcement for a meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The hologram shifts between images of the beachfront resort where the conference was held and a visual reminder to register. The only thing missing from the reminder was a phone number to call or a URL to visit to sign up. I've also seen lenticular imaging used to create the effect of animation. This can be an eye-catching way to demo a key product benefit.
Double Outer Envelopes. Why would a direct marketer put a standard #10 window OE inside another larger OE-especially considering the high cost of paper and postage? It adds intrigue, ignites the reader's curiosity, and has the potential to increase readership and response. Properly executed, an envelope-within-an-envelope format provides an opportunity for you to send one message to the mail screener-at home or at the office-and another to the targeted reader. I've also seen a mailing with a sealed tagalong note attached to the back of an OE with the teaser, "Read Me FIRST!" While this extra piece may add to the cost of the mailing, it also may be a sound investment in bottom-line results.