Friday, October 29, 2010

Bulk Mail Design Study #4

Bulk mail received on Friday, 29 Oct 2010 - CLOSED

Today the mail box brought me only 3 pieces.

  • 3 flyers

Despite their initial small appearance each piece was actually a folded flyer, with a lot of extra information inside.

Piece 1 (top left): This flyer started out at 7.5" x 5.5" inches but grew to an 11" x 17" full color, two-sided poster. The outside imprint included a map and location information. I'm assuming they included a map that spans three counties because they mailed this piece to all three counties. Personally I think it would be better to personalize and build a relationship for me with the closest location than try to show me all of their other locations which I'm not every likely to visit. They could accomplish this customization with a copy change, which is usually pretty affordable. (I know that with our own line of magnet mailers we only charge a flat $20 fee per copy change). So for just a small fee you can customize the piece and mail it just for a local population.

Inside the piece they included coupons and discounts galore. The only problem is that they are sending this mailing to me for a vehicle that I don't own anymore. I confess I don't think there is anyway they could know that...but it makes me wonder how many people they are mailing to who are now outside their target demographic.

They also used VDP (variable date printing) the piece that included my name, my previous vehicle make and model and the mileage last time I was in for service. Nice touch. They also gave me the option to make an appointment online which I like. I usually don't associate mechanics with convenient web-based services, but I like the new association.

Piece 2 (top right): This piece also started at 7.5" x 5.5" but unfolded to a 15" x 11" flyer, that also included a 7 3/8" x 11" insert that had been folded in half. The design and layout were nice, but mostly just informational without any specific call to action. This is probably their intent since the piece calls itself an "UPdate - News and information just for you".

The insert offered "amazing savings" on blood glucose meters.

The only problem is...I don't have diabetes. And neither does my sister, who doesn't live here, to whom the piece was addressed. I don't know why she would be on their mailing list, but after having received two mailings in the same day that were both essentially wasted, it makes me wonder what percentage of all direct mail is delivered to the wrong person?

If you're looking to purchase clean, accurate mailing lists, let me know. (Just click on the contact page above.) What I enjoy about how our service works is that we can provide you with bucket loads of data about your target demographic or area for you to review and play-with all for free! There is no charge until the mailing list is purchased. So if you are interested in scoping out your next target market, shoot me an e-mail with who you want to target where and I'll help you out.

Piece 3 (bottom): They say "long legs sell" (or something like that). That may be true - but not without a  21.75" x 10.5" four-panel, full color flyer to deliver it to the mailbox. Express isn't just selling clothes they are selling an image, that happens to include their clothes. 'Everything seen here' can be purchased at their store down the earrings, bracelets and skin tones and wigs. (Just kidding on that last one, they really don't sell wigs).  Everything focuses on the photoshopped images. They have kept the mailing permit almost invisible, and the address area as small as possible. They have integrated social media by include their website, a blurb about "Find us on facebook" and their twitter stream.

But the best part of the piece is the removable coupons. Why? Because it's gives the product life! Most direct mail pieces start their lives in the mailbox and end their lives a few minutes later after traveling a short almost direct path to the garbage can.

Help end this sad tale of wasted advertising. Help your bulk mail break free of this ridiculously short life cycle.

The coupon cards are designed to have a place to live where they can be useful. They are attached with a fugitive glue and can be quickly and easily removed and will head straight to a purse or wallet, probably snuggled up comfortably next to the same credit card that will be used for a future purchase.

No one is going to carry around this big direct mail piece, but plenty of people are going to carry around their coupon cards, and remember the direct mail because of it.

Their direct mail piece will probably only be seen once, but the coupon cards will be seen multiple times (each time you open your wallet for example). That repeat exposure serves as a continuing reminder to visit their store, or go to their website and ultimately to make a purchase.  You just can't achieve that kind of exposure with a postcard alone!

The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) reported that a postcard with something attached to it is read at least 51.9% more often than a traditional postcard. That's a huge additional benefit, for such a small cost.

That's why I'm such a huge proponent of magnet mailers. Just like these coupon cards, a magnet is designed to have a place to live on after the mailer has been thrown away. A magnet will be kept on the fridge, or filing cabinet. There it will serve to remind people on a regular basis of your products and services. You can't achieve that kind of long term, positive exposure without what I like to call "Power beyond paper"!

Hit the samples button above to request a free sample kit and see the power for yourself.

But I digress - let's get back to choosing the obvious winner for today's bulk mail.

And the winner is:

Piece number 2.

No just kidding, piece number 3 is the obvious winner because it's the piece that's most likely going to make the sender some money.

Return on investment is a great way to measure the success of your direct mail campaign. How much did the whole project cost you and how much did you make in return. If you can make more by spending more is it worth the investment?

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