Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In Direct Mail, What's Old Is New (& Effective) Again

Keeping up with the latest direct mail options combining print and digital technologies doesn't mean ignoring the tried-and-true, pre-digital tactics that still deliver mail response! Thank Paul Bobnak, director of Who's Mailing What!, for sifting through mail volumes to spot some successful new takes on old tricks for attention-getting envelopes. In a recent Target Marketing magazine article, he noted the reappearance of four "old-school" tactics. One is an envelope highlighting Yes-No-Maybe stickers, once a favorite of subscription drives; Bobnak cites a recent mail piece from UPMC, a healthcare system, with the Yes-No stickers visible in an outer envelope window. Posting an outer envelope quiz is another proven way to intrigue prospects into opening--a ploy often used for health care and financial services offers. Bobnak shows how a few qualifying envelope questions work well today for the Harvard Health Letter. The interoffice-routing-style envelope is an old trick for catching the attention of office workers and has been a go-to for B2B. Despite e-mail's workplace dominance, interoffice paper still exists, and Bobnak notes the recent engaging nonprofit marketing use of an interoffice envelope by Sacred Heart Southern Missions, a social ministry. Then there's the photo lab envelope, seemingly obsolete in this digital photo age. But high-quality printed photos still come in envelopes, Bobnak reminds, and that syncs with the message of Dissolve, a stock footage agency, which recently prospected with a photo lab envelope containing quality photos from its collections. Once recipients open the envelope, the old-school marketing basics of the letter copy offer still matter, too. Thus, in another recent Target Marketing magazine article, Summer Gould highlighted seven items required for a great direct mail letter: a first sentence that hooks the reader; an offer that is attractive; a story line that pulls important emotional triggers; flattery that convinces the reader he or she is special and appreciated, which today requires personalization; questions that qualify; a problem solved by your product or service; and benefits that matter to the prospect or customer. For more detail and links to real-life examples, see http://www.acculistusa.com/for-direct-mail-whats-old-can-be-new-effective-again/

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