Special Report: Driving Innovation
Making Mail Pieces Work Harder
Another trend is to make existing mail materials work harder for the money. For example, when promoting seminars, workshops and other events by direct mail, Goodman Marketing Partners, a direct marketing agency based in San Rafael, Calif., often includes event “tickets.” This makes the invitation more personal and enables a “viral” effect.
“We include a ‘buddy’ ticket ... and say, ‘Feel free to invite a colleague,’” says Carolyn Goodman, the agency’s founder and president/managing partner. “We’ve measured results and seen a 40 percent lift in response ... [where] we’ve been able to generate a second person to show up without any additional effort.”
Goodman says order forms also are ideal candidates to perform double duty. “Recently, we added a call to action on an order form that said ‘have a representative call me and give a live demo.’ That had a great response.”
A Personal Look
As Quad Graphics’ vice president of sales for direct marketing, Eric Blohm has observed several outer envelope tactics that have increased response. One is ink jetting addresses onto closed-face envelopes instead of using an open window. Alternatively, some companies ink-jet the “to” and “from” addresses onto a label, and place that on the outer envelope. “It seems more personal, like somebody printed it out … at home and stuck it onto an envelope,” says Blohm. “We’ve actually had customers ask us to put the label on a bit crooked so it really looks hand-applied.”
Both techniques prevent the piece from looking mass-produced. “People don’t want their mail to look like a credit card solicitation,” Blohm explains. “It’s about trying to make it look personal—like it’s not one of a million pieces mailed.”
Good Things in Small Packages
There’s nothing better than getting a gift in the mail—and some savvy marketers are obliging. Blohm says catalogers and retailers, in particular, are finding success with gift cards designed to promote special sales or reactivate lapsed customers. The cards can be used in various formats, including self-mailers, catalogs and envelope packages.