Verizon's Simple Mailing Offers Real Service
Sometimes direct mail isn't about selling a product, it's about ongoing communication and solidifying a relationship with your existing customers. Case in point: Recently, a member of the Inside Direct Mail staff received a small mailing from Verizon (Archive code #808-636770-0502A) that
addresses him by his full name and reads:
Welcome. Because you have Verizon Freedom and Verizon Online Internet service, you automatically qualify to be a member of Verizon Encorean exclusive program for our best customers. It's just one way we're showing our appreciation for your business.
The mailing's format is simple and almost invitation-like. The 4-3/4" x 6" envelope features the Verizon logo at the top left corner and announces, "A new level of customer service." There is no mistaking this piece for yet another offer or a bill. Relying for the most part on copy, rather than flashy creative, the contents are folded once, in the form of an invitation or a thank-you note. The letter introduces the customer to the new level of service, explaining that he can now use one toll-free customer service telephone number to answer any of his account and service questions. It also
informs him that he has exclusive access to the Verizon Encore Web site, which can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to manage his accounts and add services. The site itself also features special offers and discounts available only to Verizon Encore members. A 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" color brochure included in the mailing focuses more specifically on the features of this loyalty program's Web site, reiterating its benefits along with a color image of one of the products the customer could receive at a discount: a cordless phone.
Also, no flashy freemiums here. However, the customer does have something useful and stylish to take away from the mailing; a clear plastic card featuring the toll-free number and Web site address is included as a convenient reference tool the customer can carry with him at all times.
Equally important, Verizon follows through on the mailing's promise for an easier, one-stop customer service experience for Encore members. It's an asset customers can immediately use and benefit from. The recipient, Robert Yoegel, vice president, online services for North American Publishing CompanyInside Direct Mail's parent companyhas been a Verizon customer for 10 years and has local, long distance, cellular and DSL accounts with the provider. After receiving the Encore mailing, he gave the new service a try. It was a notable improvement over his previous customer service experience with Verizon, which had been marked by lots of transfers from one customer service rep to another and a lengthy waiting time when he had tried to upgrade his standard DSL modem to a wireless modem/router. Yoegel says: "I described what happened on my last attempt to the Encore customer service representative. She basically said 'no problem' and got me the new wireless modem/ router in three to five days as promisedno charges, no shipping, no need to return the other modem. Verizon has gone a long way in making me happy as a customer."
Verizon's mailing strips down to essentials, but still gets noticed. There may not be a flashy offer, but an emphasis on service, backed up by follow-through, results in stronger customer loyalty.