Direct Mail Strategy: Rev Up Your Response
Something-of-Value Teaser. The first time I saw a solo mailing in a clear OE with a dollar bill clipped to the contents, I was horrified. Did these people really believe they could buy me off with a buck? Then I started thinking about the strategy behind this teaser tactic. Who in the world isn't going to open this envelope to retrieve the dollar bill? And if you've targeted the right audience with a strong and compelling message, getting your reader to open your envelope is the first major step in getting your mailing read. The Heritage Foundation uses this same technique with a First Class postage stamp paper-clipped to the envelope's contents. To add to the authenticity of the mailing, it also places a bright orange "WARNING" sticker on the back of the envelope that says contents are being monitored and those who tamper with them will be prosecuted. While I have no idea what the response rate is to this campaign, I'm guessing the open rate is impressive.
Free Gift. When you can cost-effectively include an appropriate free gift inside your mail piece, it's a powerful tool for getting the mailing opened and read. The gift can be anything from those ubiquitous return address labels found in cause-related mailings to a foreign coin glue-tipped to the top of a survey with an advance note of thanks for answering and returning the survey. For example: "Please keep the coin as a small thank you or share it with a young collector."
A variation on this theme is the "Guardian Angel" token found in a Catholic Relief Services mailing with the copy, "Keep this guardian angel as a reminder of the children you help." The key is to make sure the gift not only is appropriate, but noticeable without opening the envelope.