A Funny Business Mailing
For some business-to-business mailings, all that's necessary are a lead generation self-mailer, a few benefits and a call to action. However, when you sell a complex product or service, you may need more real estate to showcase your offer.
When The New Yorker's Cartoon Bank mails its customized cartoon promotional item mailing, it uses an expansive letter package with a brochure to help showcase its nuanced offer. "Our biggest challenge is to truly convey the intelligent humor and the wit of The New Yorker and explain to [prospects] how to use that effectively in their business," describes Andrea Baerenwald, associate director of marketing and e-commerce for The New Yorker's Cartoon Bank (TNYCB).
In April, TNYCB sent 20,000 pieces to a business audience, offering personalized promotional products branded with New Yorker cartoons. The promotional items range from custom books to mugs, calendars and apparel, all with multiple price points and variations. The mailing arrives in a 6" x 9½" outer with the copy, "Put the wit of The New Yorker to work for you," and an image of its icon—a monocled, top-hatted man. The package is printed on thick, high-quality stock and contains a three-page letter, large brochure, reply card and BRE (Archive code #811-698011-0905).
A similar package has been mailing for four years, but having recently used an outside agency to redesign its media kit, TNYCB brought on the same agency to make its direct mail match. While some of the language is the same as the old package, much of the creative is new, and the package looks more upscale because it mailed on thicker card stock than the previous more glossy, promotional-looking package. Since it only mailed 20,000 packages, the Cartoon Bank did not do any extensive testing this time around.
One of the highlights of the package is the letter that shows an understanding of the businessperson's perspective and needs. "It represents our brand very well, and it presents the various products we have in a way that appeals to the audience that's receiving it," shares Leigh Montville, director of sales for TNYCB. The letter is signed by Montville himself and even includes his direct telephone number as the call to action—a rare personal touch in direct mail. "Customers do respond with the name. They don't call asking for the consumer gifts or custom gifts department. They call asking for Leigh," Baerenwald says. "There's a personal connection there with somebody ... It's not just a nameless face," Montville agrees.