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Mailbox Monday

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We've said it before over and over (and over), but it bears repeating over and over (and over). Whether you use an outer envelope (OE), a box or tube, your direct mail campaign's outer carrier has one mission: to get opened!

This week, we received a handsome little piece from the USPS. Measuring 5" x 7", it arrived in a neat plastic envelope sealed with fugitive glue dots and including a perfed pull tab. It was addressed to the Queen B at B Direct (kudos for correct spelling and capitalization). And, it was impossible to resist opening it.

A teaser under the address read: "Inspire new connections with your customers. Use catalogs."

The brochure inside, clearly visible through the plastic OE ("clearly visible," get it?) was saddle stitched, with a cover that introduced Catalogs as "A powerful way to move your customers from 'browsing' to 'purchased.'" There was an image of a sofa and rug, assumedly catalog items. The back cover showed some additional items and some subtle content about the piece being recycled and recyclable.

Inside, the brochure became quite engaging. After an intro that encouraged us to "Stand out from the crowd," each of the interior's pages offered up another statistic arguing in favor of catalog marketing:

• 84% of consumers enjoy getting catalogs from stores they've already shopped from.
• 71% of consumers say catalogs influence their purchase decisions.
• 15.5 minutes is the average amount of time consumers spend with catalogs.
• 52% of consumers find catalogs with additional content more appealing.

Each of these facts was supported with a quick paragraph of copy and simple icon illustrations.

At the end, we were urged to "Create captivating experiences with catalogs." And there were two ways to respond: via QR Code or via a campaign URL.

It isn't difficult to understand why encouraging catalog mailings makes sense for the postal service. Just as online retailers have stolen business from brick and mortar stores, ecommerce websites have eaten into catalog printing and mailing revenue. Catalogs are still viable however, as the various research findings in the brochure asserted. 

And the industry, although changing, isn't dead yet. In 2016, 9.8 billion catalogs were mailed. And, over 100.7 million people made catalog purchases.

The Bs at B Direct give the visually and tactically inviting package — and catalog marketing, itself — a thumbs up.






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