The Holiday Challenge
Embrace New Traditions
This year, somebody suggested Mason & Geller send e-mail holiday cards. We'll certainly order all our client gifts online, but if you want to see an e-holiday card, you'll have to go to www.masongel
ler.com/holiday. That's the only place you'll ever see it, because I prefer the old-fashioned way.
I think some traditions are just unabandonable. So, we're going to design our own card again this year, and mail them out the old-fashioned USPS way. Each one will have a handwritten note. I want to catch up with people, see how they're doing. The gifts we'll send probably will be interesting, but not necessarily useful.
Old-fashioned charm can work wonderfully with 21st century convenience. Consider the new ballparks in Houston, Cleveland and Baltimore. They look a lot like the early 20th century ballparks, but they're as up-to-date as a new high rise. This sort of approach appeals to people.
I think there's something useful to direct marketers in this new, old-fashioned way challenge. Here's a few ways we can embrace new technology and still keep old-fashioned charm:
1. Be more personal. Use personalization in creative ways. A few years ago, I was invited to a Peppers and Rogers breakfast meeting, and the invitation had my name spelled out in cereal in a bowl. This was a cute attention-getter that made me open the package.
2. Test live stamps. We used live stamps on the reply envelopes in a mailer to high-worth investors, and were delighted when we lifted response by more than 20 percent. It costs $370/M for the stamps, but one additional response per thousand mailings paid for the difference many times over.
3. Use a human touch. Real, human and totally honest communication always attracts people. Banks don't have to sound like banks. They can sound like people who work at a bank. This makes a big difference. In Manhattan, we once wrote to all of our neighbors and invited them to a party on our wood terrace high above Madison Avenue. We wrote that we'd like to meet them and maybe do some business. Dozens accepted. A nearby bank became a client as a result.