Posts tagged personalized direct mail

Complex Variable Data Printing Made Easy

165493131 250x166 Complex Variable Data Printing Made EasyThe evolution of digital printing has transformed the world of direct marketing. No longer must the same static messages be sent to every customer on your mailing list. Instead, the use of customer information databases and variable data printing (VDP) allows a business to completely tailor the content of their mailing to each individual customer.

Complex variable data printing may sound difficult to implement, but with the right partner and the requisite data, it can produce an effective and profitable direct mail campaign that delivers superior response rates.

The Process

The VDP process starts with information. In fact, customer information is the real key to creating highly personal messages and delivering significantly higher results than traditional direct mail campaigns. With the use of multiple databases, a VDP campaign allows a company to combine the name, address and particulars of a customer with an ad specifically targeted to their needs and interests. The result is an ad that provokes a far higher response rate than traditional non-variable marketing pieces.

The Content

In addition to using the actual name of the recipient, VDP should also reference their geographic area, the past purchases, their buying behavior, personal interests and other specific traits.  The key is to collect a lot of information on your customers or prospects and use that information to create a personal experience for the recipient.  In this particular application, content is certainly king as it can grab the attention of the recipient and ultimately lead them to respond.

The Images

While words are the ultimate closer in a marketing piece, images are the attention grabber. Imagine that at a basic level a car dealer can send pictures of sports cars to the 18-25 demographic and sedans to the 40-50 crowd, but let’s add another layer of insight.  The car dealer sends a piece that is designed around the age, past purchase history, family status (whether children are present in the household), and income.  So now instead of just sports cars vs. sedans, we can target the right level of sedan and even offer a loan package based on general credit information.  This differentiation can mean the difference between a direct mail piece being read or being discarded – in other words, the difference between success and failure.

The Follow Up

One of the more powerful benefits of VDP is that it can be constantly updated and customized to every potential client. Each time you send a mailing and get a response, the database is updated. In other words, you are constantly qualifying the desires and needs of your clients. With enough perseverance, you will build a true image of your client and be better positioned to convert them into a paying customer.

The Bottom Line

Variable data printing is a 21st century technology that no successful business can afford to be without. Utilizing the combined power of databases and the technological advances of digital printing allows companies to select, target and market to an incredible variety of customers on a very personal level.

Don’t be left behind when contemplating your next direct marketing campaign. Whether your business targets range from banking, insurance or casinos to non-profits and educational institutions, variable data printing can provide a very focused solution that generates excellent response rates, superior conversion and a whole new set of potential clients.

 

10 Ways to Get Your Direct Mail Read by the Millennials

Y1 10 Ways to Get Your Direct Mail Read by the Millennials

SOURCE: Jason Ryan Dorsey; Y-Size Your Business

Look around the next time you’re in a coffee shop, airport, bookstore or public area and you’ll see Millennials (often called Gen Ys) pecking away on their smart phones or iPads like there wasn’t another human being around for miles.

However, just because Generation Ys are completely absorbed in technology that doesn’t mean the only way to reach them is through social media or integrated email campaigns.

Lamont Swittenberg, managing director at Luminosity Marketing, says, “Sending something by direct mail is a way of breaking through the clutter because they receive so much communication that comes digitally, and you still can’t replace the personal touch from direct mail.”

To engage Gen Ys most effectively, marketers should recognize that Gen Ys read printed materials with a different “lens” than baby boomers.

Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of “Y-Size Your Business,” explains that Gen Ys (born between 1977 and 1995) prefer pictures and directions to an online video rather than long blocks of text or explanation or background info.

10 Ways to Engage Gen Ys with Print:

  1. Personalize it. Use variable data printing to ensure you’re speaking to Gen Ys personally.
  2. Keep it visual (infographics are received well among Gen Ys).
  3. Treat them like a VIP.
  4. Make them feel deserving.
  5. Connect them to a cause or part of a community for the greater good
  6. Believe in them.
  7. Add a QR Code® or drive them to your social media sites.
  8. Make it interactive.
  9. Create a daring but relevant appeal. Read Gen Y targeted whitepaper, No Guts, No Glory, for bold ideas from Joeri Van den Bergh, Gen Y expert.

Chances are your office is at least half filled with Gen Ys. So run the copy by an associate before finalizing your multi-channel campaign. Believe me, they will tell you exactly how they feel about your message and if it resonates with them or not.

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part II

casinoThis is the second part of a blog post series gleaning lessons from the direct marketing successes of four casinos that won the Romero Awards in 2012. Romero Awards recognize outstanding, accountable, measurable casino marketing.

In this post you can learn takeaways from Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs, Ark., and Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Fla.

 

A Scratch-and-Win Promo with an Anticipation Twist

Oaklawn Racing and Gaming learned there is emotional currency in creating anticipation. The casino had past success with scratch-and-win direct mail pieces and decided to play off of that by asking customers to not scratch their card at home but to bring that card into the casino on Saturday to scratch and redeem.

The response rate was more than previous efforts and the coin-in rate (money put through the slots and machines) was more than double the average of the previous four Saturdays.

SOURCE: Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine.

According to Deliver Magazine, Oaklawn’s cost of the promotion was $34,894. The coin-in total grew by more than $1 million over the previous year and there was a visitor increase of 68%.

 

Penny Players Prove Direct Mail Test a Success

Seminole Casino wanted to learn if targeting specific denominational players would deliver better results than not factoring in which denominations players  prefer to play. So they developed a list with all of their active players with more than 50% of penny play and added players who hadn’t played for up to 24 months.

The marketing piece had a dual message: that Seminole had increased the number of penny machines by 33% and were offering 1,001 spins on them. The promotion was basically the equivalent a $10.01 free-play offer.

Seminole then sent a press release and ran ads in newspapers and on billboards reinforcing the abundance of penny machines. A total of 49,882 pieces were mailed that earned a 33% response rate, including 18.8% from disengaged players.

Players appreciated the increased number of penny slot machines and the mailed offer.

 

Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part I

This blog post is for you if you run a casino or similar business– hotel, entertainment venue, restaurant or a retail store. You can learn something from Gold River Casino in Anadarko, Okla., and Prairie Band Casino & Resort in Mayetta, Kan., if you need people in your establishment to earn revenue.

 

river1 Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part I

Turning a Slow Day into a Hay Day

Gold River Casino employees used to dread Sundays because the floor was barren and therefore food and beverage sales were slow, too. To increase Sunday play, Gold River put a reusable coupon into its monthly direct mail piece.

The additional free-play offer increased revenues more than $200,000 in just one month. After three months, revenues climbed to $300,000. This translated into an increase of 30% more visitors who drove food and beverage sales up nearly 50%.

SOURCE: Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine

Sunday is now one of the property’s strongest days thanks to adding a food-and-beverage offer. The food piece draws in families who encourage their friends to come with them to catch up on life on Sundays.

 

band1 Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part IReengaging Disengaged Customers

Prairie Band Casino & Resort used a total escape package to lure guests back into the casino who hadn’t been in to play in up to three months. The package included a free night’s stay and free-play offer.

To promote the package, Prairie Band mailed a printed luggage tag as the direct mail piece and attention grabber. The results were a 19.1% response rate, an 80.8% lift in incremental guests, and a return on investment of 670.1%.

SOURCE:Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine

Is there a group of your customers you need to reengage? How about a day of the month you could use a spike in customers? Direct mail works – when executed properly.

VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.

All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.

Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.

wedding VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.

SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012

 

pam VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.

SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com

Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress

While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.

Nelson used XMPie solutions to personalize each piece of her wedding communications from engagement announcements to her wedding invitations which included QR Codes®*

Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.

SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011

invitations VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

 

 

With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).

The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.

Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.

So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.

*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

 

Are You Part of the 73%?

percent1 Are You Part of the 73%?

Source: DMNews.com

Mail is still first class in the eyes of 73% of consumers in America who still prefer to receive direct mail for brand communications. So despite all the press and pixels that social and email marketing get, direct mail is still tops in the eyes of consumers.

Despite the exposure of digital channels, direct mail is expected to grow 1.4% annually for the next five years to $13.8 billion.

Personalization Makes Direct Mail Even Hotter

Companies that gather data on customers who segment the information into relevant marketing communications delivered via variable data printing win big with double-digit responses.

If you are a marketing leader who invests in direct mail as a channel, do you consistently ensure what you send out is variably printed and designed? Consumers expect communications to be relevant across all channels, including direct mail.

Discover credit card company targets its list based on different customer attributes and then tags each piece with a personalized invitation number. “Direct mail is a great way for us to target consumers,” says Laks Vasudevan, Discover director of acquisition. “It’s our most targeted platform.”

Pull the Trigger

DSW sends personalized birthday postcards with offers to its 20 million plus rewards members. Who wouldn’t want $10 off a new pair of shoes as a gift to self?

And there’s something special about getting a real card with physical value versus a mass email with fashion tips, according to Kelly Cook, DSW’s Senior Vice President of Marketing.

When the company tested sending birthday coupons via email, it didn’t perform nearly as well as direct mail.

Give Your Customer What They Want When They Want It

Long gone are the days of sending one universal offer to everybody. For instance, I recently received a special offer for a college loan for my children from my bank. Yet, I don’t have children.  I know the marketing team at my bank and I know they have access to some very sophisticated database tools to monitor my account activity and have done a lot of data mining, they failed to connect with me as a valued customer.

Give your customers the perks they want when they want and don’t delay. With today’s 24/7 marketing automation systems, there’s no excuse.

SOURCE:Direct Mail Advertising in the U.S., October 2012, research report by IBISWorld.

SOURCE:“Direct Mail, Evolved,” by Dianna Dilworth of Direct Marketing News, March 01, 2013.

 

Do Your Direct Mail Envelopes Bring the Pain Home?

The article below is admittedly a personal review of some direct mail I received.  I am not privy to the strategies of any of these pieces or to the metrics associated with the return on investment for these campaigns. As a direct marketer I know that all that really matters is the testing matrix and campaign ROI; neither of which do I have any knowledge of.  With that said, let’s critique!

After sorting through a huge box of direct mail I collect, I was amazed to find such poor use of the outer envelope for pain-filled call to actions (CTAs). Out of this 20-pound box of direct mail, I only found one organization that was nailing pain-focused CTAs while dozens of others were missing the mark completely – most failing to have a CTA on the envelope at all.

You can see by the two outer envelopes below that the Salvation Army clearly understands driving response through pain and strong CTAs. Pella Windows and JCP on the other hand, do not. These for-profit giants neglected to include anything on the outer envelops to persuade the recipient to take the next step and open the envelope. No CTA, no compelling photograph, no pain. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Many organizations have found that raising the level of a pain surrounding a problem to the point that the inflicted one wants a solution and is willing to act on it is a viable messaging tool.

With all the pain in today’s trauma filled world and with overfilled email boxes, getting to the pain via an envelope with a strong call to action may be the best route to new customers or donors.

Cutting-edge marketing technology company, Dukky says, “There’s no better time to spend dollars in direct mail, especially since everyone is saturated with e-mail marketing campaigns.”

no address salvation army1 Do Your Direct Mail Envelopes Bring the Pain Home?

 

Pella’s Envelope Is Void of Pain

We are certain that Pella Window’s marketing department has tested their envelope copy strategy to the hilt, but we spent a little time playing with possible headlines… Tell us if you think these are strong:

  • Did you know windows can leak 25% of your heat during the winter? That’s a lot of heat.
  • Daddy always complained about heating the outside.
  • Might as well just leave the window open, don’t you think?

no address pella Do Your Direct Mail Envelopes Bring the Pain Home?

When we look at Pella Window’s letter we also feel like we want more.  We would love to see some content on a replacement cost vs. return on investment calculation to demonstrate how quickly a homeowner can recoup his costs over time just through energy efficiencies throughout all seasons.

coffee girl Do Your Direct Mail Envelopes Bring the Pain Home?Not sure it would work, but it might be worth a test, but imagine retrieving an envelope out of your mailbox with the photograph above on it if you just got an extremely high gas bill earlier that month and the thought of new windows was in the back of your mind. What if the envelope had, “Quit making your family wear down vests and stocking caps to watch a movie in your drafty house.”  Would you open the envelope to read more?

 

JCP Counts CEO Clout to Earn the Open

Lucky me, I received a letter from JCP’s CEO Ron Johnson! I wondered what’s up. Opening this generic, highly digitized very personalized letter, I learn that JCP is making changes in their store to bring back the fun of shopping.  If you know me, you know I don’t really enjoy shopping.

no address JCP Do Your Direct Mail Envelopes Bring the Pain Home?

Fun of shopping, huh.  Funny, this envelope and letter aren’t very fun. In fact, they’re kind of boring.

Johnson goes on to say he doesn’t want me to have to wait for a sale or coupon so I’ll now find low prices every day, which sounds a lot like Wal-mart, but wait. There’s a $10 coupon at the bottom of the letter if I get to JCP in the next few days. Isn’t that kind of a mixed message? No more coupons but here is a coupon?

And here’s another kicker, the letter from the desk of Ron Johnson is signed Ron – now not really. It’s just his typed name. No signature blue ink, cursive writing. Just a corporate looking letter, with a convoluted message and a non-personalized signature at the bottom and no pain or CTA on the outer envelope.

Come on JCP – if you’re trying to be warm, value driven, fun and shift from a couponing strategy to every day value you are delivering numerous conflicting messages.

Now keep in mind, they did send me this letter to my work address.  I wonder was the appeal of one more formal letter supposed to get through to me and entice me to use a $10 coupon because I absolutely had to run out in the next four days and buy something.

Add to the confusion.  I’m not a JCP shopper.  Frankly, I don’t remember the last time I walked in to a JCP.  I don’t have kids so I’m not in that “holy grail” of consumers.  I rarely use coupons.  Heck, I rarely even remember to use the gift cards I get for presents.  Bigger problem for JCP – they are spending money with a strange message to try and lure me to their store.

With all these comments I’ll admit the marketer in me is uncomfortable sharing my anecdotal observations. I would love to see the data.  I would love to see the testing matrix. I would love to see the ROI and consumer analytics reports, but alas I get to sit back and observe my experience with a mail piece.

I guess this is what a Monday morning quarterback feels like.

Have you received anything from an organization that made you want to take action because it had a great CTA, personalized URL, or magnified some pain that drove you to take action? Let me know in comments.

 

6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and Burn

148132648 250x166 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and BurnIf your business wasn’t part of the early adopters of variable data printing, this blog post is for you. This piece will keep you far from the technical grenades that can burn you if you don’t prepare your database or file correctly for hand off to your variable partner for execution.

Data First, Creative Second

Start with the data, which seems counter intuitive to agency people and small businesses. According to Kristen Miller, of Mail Print’s Client Implementation Team, successful VDP projects begin with data and then move into the creative process.

Ideally you’ll start with an accurate customer or prospect database/mail list. Ideally the dataset has more than name and address, like age, income, presence of children in the home, purchase history, or frequency of purchases.  Next you can decide what you want to communicate and pick which data fields you’re going to drop into your communication to personalize the marketing piece.

Dear {Name}, We hope this note finds you well.  Since you recently bought {Gift #1}, we thought you would be interested in {Gift #2}.

Prospecting vs. Retaining

Often times mailing lists purchased from list providers can be a great solution when you are prospecting for new clients beyond wanting to personalize a piece simply with someone’s first name. If your marketing strategy is to get St. Louis based, women, 40 years old and older, with household incomes of at least $100,000 to come to a plastic surgery seminar, purchasing a list may make sense.

If you are a plastic surgeon who wants to get existing patients to consider a second procedure or new aesthetic service, using your customer data makes sense. Choose your segment and write your marketing copy and select your graphics to truly speak to that particular group of people.

Maximize the Power of Variable

It can be very profitable to build a marketing piece that uses different images, colors, and messages to match the targeted segment.  The true value of variable data printing comes in being able to tailor a piece to engage a particular segment of your target audience.  Simply playing the “name game” is somewhat passé.  Your goal is to create a highly relevant mail piece so the prospect can envision using your product or service in a particular way.

Beware of Capital Letter Land Mines

If you had a single person input your CRM data, you are probably in good shape consistency wise. However, if multiple people in multiple states have added to the database, you may be plagued with names that should be spelled DeAnna, but may appear as Deanna (first letter capped only) or DEANNA, which often happens off purchased mailing lists.

Fixes for Common Field Land Mines

Miller says she sees several other common “field” related problems with the two dozen large variable projects she produces for clients each month. “Some clients will want to address the prospect by the first name, but their data field is set up as a full name field. There is no clean way to segment out Mr. Glenn Smith vs. Glenn Smith versus F. Glenn Smith.”

Rosanne Kirn, who works on Miller’s team, says another common problem occurs with the company field name. If a data entry person has put Sudsy Soap LLC in the company name but the client wants the marketing piece to mail to Sudsy Soap, you have an immediate problem.

The solution is to build an extra field and name it “Pretty Company Name” or “Variable Company Name” and key in the name of the company without all the window dressing of LLC, Inc, etc.

Don’t Send Unneeded Fields in Your File

Variable data projects can quickly come to a screeching halt if too much data is sent – enough to crash a system.

Miller and Kirn once dealt with more than one million data records from a local retailer. This isn’t a huge number of records until you multiply that by the number of fields, (over 1,000 in this case) attached to that record. Then things can get ugly quick.

Miller recommends reviewing your file and only sending the data fields that are needed to produce the marketing piece. This will keep the tab delimited, .CSV, or .TXT file size manageable and prevent unnecessary delays in your project.

Neuroscientists Confirm Direct Mail is Alive and Kicking

neuromarketingDirect Mail is alive and kicking even if your original cell phone is not.

Despite the attraction toward digital marketing, direct mail is far from extinct. According to a study conducted by Millward Brown, Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail, physical marketing materials vs. virtual marketing materials engage customers far better and trigger more emotional responses deepening brand engagement.

 

A Deeper Footprint

Regular Forbes contributor, Steve Olenski educates marketers that direct mail is not dead, but more relevant than ever in his article, In the Land of Digital, Let’s Not Forget the Physical and Direct Mail: Alive and Kicking.

Olenski also sites Millward Brown’s study of direct mail as it excels in the areas of neuroscientific engagement of customers as you can see in the video below.

 


Brown’s study states that physical media (direct mail) leaves a deeper footprint on the brain. In other words, content or marketing materials that consumers can touch and resonate with will engage more emotions than digital marketing messages.

  • Greater emotional processing is facilitated by consumers interacting with physical materials as opposed to virtual.
  • The “real” experience means the message becomes a better part of the recipient’s memory.
  • Brain scans showed print vs. digital material is internalized more deeply, meaning the materials had more of a personal effect that should aid in motivation or responding to a good call to action.[1]

Source: Millward Brown Neuroscience Marketing Study: Understanding Direct Mail with Neuroscience

Mail Me An Offer

Consumers that are affected by physical media are not just the older demographics such as busters and boomers, which is contrary to some marketers’ assumptions. According to Lisa Formica, president of FMI, a direct mail marketing and advertising firm, direct mail is not specific to a certain age group. Younger consumers (the 18- to 32-year old group) prefer to communicate with business and receive their offers via postal mail. And that preference doesn’t take into account the power and increased response rate when you send a dimensional mailing (3D or “lumpy mail”).

Of course there is still an art and science to creating powerful direct mail and poorly executed direct mail still risks being tossed (read Why Your Direct Mail Is Really Being Thrown Away.)

According to The Kern Organization, killer direct marketers, direct mail designers, and direct mail copywriters are becoming harder to find and it may be a matter of lack of training. In its Vlog post, Is There Still a Place for Direct Mail in This Digital Age?, Russell Kern says marketers lack the experience and confidence needed to design and test a direct mail strategy.

Isn’t it funny how keeping your skills up is different among the generations? While senior marketers are constantly teaching themselves mobile and digital media,  junior marketers must remember to keep their direct mail skills polished by attending Direct Marketing conferences, reading Deliver magazine and perhaps getting a senior direct mail mentor or learning from direct mail legends, including David Ogilvy, Bob Stone and Lester Wunderman.

 

10 Terminal Design Flaws in Senior Living Mailer

92235673 250x366 10 Terminal Design Flaws in Senior Living MailerThe postcard below from Excelsior Springs Hospital arrived in a mailbox of a 50 year old living in a subdivision with mixed housing.

For the recipient, it was off message. They were not interested in comparing residential care homes quite yet being that they are only 50 years old. I live in a subdivision designed for people to progress through life from the townhomes, to single family homes to raise a family, to the patio homes to enjoy one-level living prior to advancing to a nursing home or residential care center.

So the question begs, what did Excelsior Springs Hospital use to compile a target rich list? Zip codes, type of home, age, mortgage balance, employment? If I were their marketing director, I would have specified 55 to 75 years of age living in ranch homes with a zero balance so to hone in on people most likely to be ready to move from their downsized ranch or maintenance-free patio home into an independent living center or assisted living.

 

Fatal Flaws Made in Senior Living Postcard

As you see, Excelsior Springs Hospital has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into this simple 5×7 postcard. It’s packed, yet pulseless. Here’s where they fell short.

  1. The headline is a snore. A better headline/offer would have been, “Join us for a 4-Course Lunch and 4-Course Resident Panel.”
  2. The photo a bore. A photo of Paul Kemp gardening or playing cards would have been more engaging. Having him looking at a book, not the camera, is too passive.
  3. You don’t know where to start. They have three tiers of living centers to offer. Why not chronologically take the prospect through each one with numbers (1) Independent Living (2) Residential Care (3) Convalescent Center.
  4. Information overload. There is way too much copy. This is a postcard, not a brochure or website. Give them the highlights and move them down the funnel to get more information.
  5. No continuity. The bulleted list on the left is flush left while the list on the right is centered. Some headlines have serif fonts, while some are san serif.
  6. There is no offer. With the competitive senior living market, why should the receiver of this postcard call the number or visit the website (which should be a landing page instead of a general URL (GURL).
  7. It’s features-not benefits-oriented. The front and back of the card “focuses on,” but doesn’t describe WIIFT (what’s in it for them). Better copy points out never feeling isolated or being excited to receive the calendar every month because there are so many fun things to pick to do each day.
  8. Meaningless elements. Everything in a good design has a reason for being there. It serves a purpose of pointing someone’s eye down the piece or to the next section. This card shows two blue starbursts that just further add to the clutter and a silky blue background that seems out of place. The two design blocks on the front of the card appear like the tablets from the 10 commandments but again I don’t understand the point.
  9. They called their customer a name. According to Britt Brouse, Associate Editor of Inside Direct Mail, you should never use the word “senior” when marketing to seniors. Instead focus on your services and how it meets their needs without pinpointing a life stage.
  10. They missed their target. The postcard was addressed to the male of the house, instead of me. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is mailing to the male head of household, or to “couples,” when half of all households with people 65 or over are headed by one person, and 80 percent of those are women.

postcard, direct mail, senior living, copy

What did I miss? Did you catch something I didn’t see? Please put your comments and insights in the comments box below.