If there is one constant technique in direct mail, it's the coupon. For many consumers, especially in this shopping-adverse tepid recovery, redeeming this "hot potato" is quite literally the difference between making a retail purchase, or not. And despite its humdrum reputation, three mailers in April's mailstream show that there are still some new twists to how the good 'ole coupon can be used to generate sales.
Coupons have long been a staple of mailings by Target (Archive code #910-637355-1004A), and there's a bright red one for $15 off affixed to the front 6" x 9" panel of its Spring self-mailer. It's good towards an electronics purchase for three big (ahem!) target groups: moms, dad and grads. When fully opened to 17-3/4" x 14", the flyer is a display of at least five products (e.g., cameras, GPS devices, cell phones, Blu-Ray players) and their prices for each segment. Running along the left and right sides are more coupons for specific products (e.g., Philips headphones, Flip camcorder).
On the reverse side, there's another coupon for $50 off a TV delivery and installation. A prospect who wants even more savings possibilities is directed to go to Target's website, or respond via text.
Because "Savings are in style for spring," Gap reached out to Chase's (Archive code #550-171665-1004A) Visa cardholders with an offer for 20 percent off a purchase at one of its retail stores and on Piperlime.com. The 6" x 8-1/2" self-mailer opens to an 8-1/2" x 16-3/4" mini-flyer that offers a brief view (in case one is needed) of what the two brands are all about. On one of the pages, two 20 percent off savings cards are perfed, except at their corners, easing their tear-free removal.
Insurance giant GEICO (Archive code #420-171960-1004A) got into the act with one of its acquisition efforts. The teaser on the #10 outer is the dead giveaway: "Extra Savings Coupons enclosed!" Irresistible, right?
Inside, after running the usual pitch about "savings over $500" on car insurance, the letter moves on to talk up the GEICO Privileges program, which includes all kinds of special deals and discounts. The buck slip-sized coupon is actually a dual-purpose response device; half offers a 15 percent discount at a Samsonite Factory Outlet, while the other half is a discount of 11 percent on a purchase at a Meineke Car Care Center.