Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bulk Mail Design Study #5

Bulk mail received on Saturday, 30 Oct 2010 - FRONT


Today I only received one piece of bulk mail:

  • 1 postcard
Piece 1 (the one piece, right in the center): The check list design on the front can be an effective tool. Almost instinctively you go down the list taking a look at each item.  "Accountability" and "Ethics" are obviously his two main keywords. He has a defined message, which is good. And makes it obvious, which is also good.

This piece uses variable data printing to note our polling location which is helpful and personal. The design is clean and simple and uncluttered. Contact information and a call to action are there too. 

Sometimes when discussing the design of a potential direct mail campaign I'll ask the question, "What do you the postcard to say?" Surprisingly, sometimes the answer is, "I don't know". 

This says to me that they know they should advertise, they know direct mail is a good way to do it, but that's about where the 'knowing' ends and they are left guessing about the more important details. Most people know they have to have their contact info on there, and their logo and...what else?

Some simple starting questions to consider are:
  • What do you want to say?
  • Who do you want to say it to?
These may be the hardest questions to answer. Next on the list is: 
  • What is your 'call to action'? 
Or in other words, what do you want the recipient to do because they received your mailer? And how are you going to persuade them to do it?

Information alone usually isn't enough. You need to make some type of emotional connection with people to get them to remember the information (consider the emotional connection created by the "That Stinks" postcard from last Thursday). Or give them a clear reason to take action and a clear path to follow. 

Sometimes it's best if you start by working backwards. Let's say you goal was to get more people to visit and purchase from your new website. Obviously then, your message needs to include your domain name. But don't stop there.

Ask yourself, "Why should they visit my website?" You already know increased traffic and increased sales are in it for you. But what's in it for them?

Give them reasons to visit the website, such as special web-only discounts, or an exclusive newsletter etc. 

Enough already...I'm sure your anxious to find out who the winner is....

And the winner is:

Overcoming fierce competition, the winner is piece 1! Wahoo!

One more thought on this piece. Let's say this guy gets elected, and he's my local senator. As cool as that is, I'm not likely to put his phone number and contact information in my phone. (Nor am I going to keep this postcard).

But let's say I did want to give him a call, or send him an e-mail. How convenient would it be if I had a magnet with his information on it? If he had included a business card magnet on this mailer wouldn't this mail piece just be overflowing with the message, "I'm here for you! You can get a hold of me anytime you'd like, see here, I'll prove it, here's a business card magnet with all my contact information. I'm so happy to be representing you!" Do you get my point?

Ok, just one more thought. Usually you only hear from politicians around election day, when they are either asking for your vote or asking for your money, or both. Usually that only comes around once every few years. You practically forget what the guy looks like since the last time he came by. But what if he were smart enough to give you a magnet to hang on to? Instead of seeing him never, you'd remember that you had a representative up on the hill each time you saw his magnet. Shoot, by the next time you see the guy you might practically be friends because you'd feel like you knew him so well. 

Ok, I'm done. Check out this page if you are interested in learning more about how magnet mailers can be effective for political campaigns. 

Thanks for reading!

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