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Mailbox Monday

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Many moons ago (before 9/11 and anthrax and the age of paranoia), we sometimes created "stealth" direct mail packages. These might have an intriguing teaser on the outside or the envelope might be plain. What they had in common was that we didn't reveal who the sender was until the recipient went inside the package.

Well, those days are gone.

For some clients it's just as well. Google for instance is a well-known company (in fact, Google is more than a company — it's become a verb!) and seeing their familiar friendly type on the outside of a d.m. piece is welcome.

"Wow, what does Google want with me?" The recipient's flattered. It gets opened.

Inside, we find a letter and a brochure. Let's start with the letter. It was addressed to the agency, not to an individual. There was no Johnson Box, but otherwise it was fairly clean, quick and engaging. Glad to see they included a P.S. (Here's a fun fact: when a person reads a letter, they notice their own name — assuming it's included — then the signature and name at the bottom. This makes the P.S. primo real estate!)

The offer, nicely highlighted in the letter, is $100 of "free advertising" and alerts the prospect to the Gift Card enclosed. There are two ways to respond: a campaign URL and an 800-number. Nice. So far.

On to the little brochure. Sorry to report that it was a little disappointing.

A simple three-panel piece, it opened twice:

It is a study in minimalism, for sure. And the message comes across even if you don't read the body copy:

How to get your small business to show up on Google.

Run an ad.

Why?

How?

The details.

But is this really all we get from the company famous for its clever, colorful Google Doodles? Where are the graphics? Where are the people? Not to be a direct marketing broken record, but people look at ... people!

More importantly, maybe, where is the $100 Gift Card we heard about in the letter??? Well, we finally found it. On the back of the brochure. Say, what? Bit of a leap of faith, Google people. We can't help but wonder how many people never got to it.

At B Direct, we love the Google brand. We just wish we could have found it somewhere in this direct mail piece. After searching our direct marketing souls, the B's at B Direct, have to give it a thumbs-down.

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