advertising and catalogs have migrated to digital, and direct mail has waned, yet it can still serve a unique purpose and present creative challenges. useful for micro-targeting key groups (neighborhood residents, surfers, horse owners), it’s most effective when it arrives with a sweet offer you simply can’t refuse, or a gift, or something that will elicit a smile. all three would be ideal.
an example would be a lingerie boutique on the lower east side mailing an announcement for a grand opening to women in the area. the mailer could be shaped like a garter, made of plantable seeded paper, feature an offer of 25% off of a purchase, and include a silk stocking for one leg – the other has to be picked up in the boutique (in the correct size, if necessary). that’s so much more engaging than a digital experience.
here are some angles to save direct mail from the trash bin, or to keep it interesting for you as its mastermind:
– an unusual shape or presentation, or a shape that shifts into another shape such as a pop-up box.
– a coupon or ultra-tempting offer (free glass of wine with dinner)
– include a promotional item that will be of use; examples: a fridge magnet, breath mints or color wheels
– the mailer pulls double-duty as something else — an origami animal shape or paper wallet
– recipients love games and challenges such as cracking codes, filling in blanks, crossword puzzles, holding copy up to a mirror to read it, pinwheels and other unorthodox presentations
– recycle-able paper, preferably seeded – scented paper is interesting too
– if you can tell a story with your mailer, all the better – people love stories and being entertained. If you’re going to intrude upon someone’s mailbox and time, be prepared to make up for it with something very amusing.
enjoy these crazy brilliant direct mail examples: http://tinyurl.com/7hzss93
and tell us which piece of direct mail stands out as best in your memory (to keep our inspiration flowing).
by kim taylor