Top Mailing: Zagat Now Wines as Well as Dines
You probably know Zagat as the leading source for restaurant critiques, but what you may not know is that Zagat actually has its roots in wine. Some 30 years ago, the Zagat Survey was born out of a wine-tasting group, and to mark its 30-year anniversary, Zagat recently launched a wine group — Zagat Wine.
Don’t believe me? Then check out the mailer sent in late 2009. Sent in a #11 envelope (see thumbnail below), the Zagat Wine mailer has a high-end look and feel, with a glossy, red background highlighted by a portion of a wine bottle and the teaser, “We help you choose the perfect wines. You SAVE $110.” On the reverse side, the outer displays a dozen bottles of wine along with an image of a quartet of wine glasses, along with another teaser that reiterates the price saving and introduces the premium: “SAVE $110 on a dozen highly rated wines — Plus four FREE wine glasses" (Archive code #363-655262-0911).
Once inside, the prospect is greeted with a personalized letter that details the club and Zagat’s roots in wine. This two-page letter is remarkably effective, hitting on all the direct mail best practices: short sentences and paragraphs, bolded and underlined copy, subheads, a postscript, relevant, clear images and a very easily scanned format — everything you would hope for. The letter opens with the introductory offer: a dozen specially selected wines for $69.99, which the letter notes is a savings of $110. The letter follows with Zagat’s history with wine: “The Zagat story started with wine … here’s to a better drinking future!”
It goes on to explain that Zagat has teamed with renowned wine expert Tony Laithwaite to select the best wines and discusses how the program works. It also invites the prospect into a clear two-way relationship, stating, “Your feedback on the wines will help Tony and his team compile future selects.” This is an excellent tactic to make prospects feel they’re valued by Zagat. The letter also highlights that “if you don’t like a wine, you don’t pay,” and it’s signed by Nina and Tim Zagat, finally wrapping up with a postscript that reiterates the $110 savings and free wine glasses.