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Mailbox Monday

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A couple of weeks ago, we talked about taking a "less is more" approach to direct mail packages. Some pieces work — and work well — in smaller real estate. This is especially true when you want to create an intimate experience, when your product or service deserves some quiet respect.

That said, however, there are certainly times when less is not more. When, in fact, more is most definitely more. When you are selling a bigger than life adventure, when your audience needs to see big, bold images of people, places or things that they can practically reach out and touch, then you may want to think bright, colorful, glossy, and — yes — big.

This week's mailbox gave us some good examples of a category where you should go big or stay home. Travel.

(Btw, quick message to the direct marketing powers that be. Apparently somebody up there thinks the Bs deserve a vacation. You're right!)

Back to our samples. We received a trifold self-mailer from Norwegian Cruise Line. It's 5.25" x 9" closed, features a gorgeous beach shot of Bermuda with a super-sized ship in the background. It also contains teaser copy about the company's "Free at Sea" promotion, along with the more conceptual headline "Got Vacation Plans? You Do Now."

The second piece is also a trifold, and it's also from a cruise line. This time it's Celebrity Cruises, and the closed piece is a bit larger than Norwegian's (this one's 6" x 9"). The cover is a gorgeous shot of Gaudi's magnificent La Sagrada Familia. A headline reads, "Every traveler has a list of must-sees in Europe. Check them all off with us." A subtle teaser invites you inside for details on sailing "all included."

The third piece is a five-panel barrel-folded booklet. It's from Perillo Tours and the cover features a truly beautiful picture of the Castel Sant'angelo in Rome. With more panels to fill, the interior also includes copy about the company, travel ideas, custom vacations, and more. It's a nice little piece. But, that's exactly the problem.

It's little.

Closed, the piece measures just 4" x 6". As breathtaking as Rome's Castle of the Holy Angel may be, it lacks the "Wow, I wish I were there" power of the cruise mailers' images. It's only about half the size!

Think about your category, your message, and the photo assets you have at your disposal. If you're lucky enough to have gorgeous — and persuasive — photography, don't skimp on the paper. Bigger is sometimes better.

These pieces earn two thumbs up and one thumbs down. Bon voyage.

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