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Mailbox Monday

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Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away, and you know what that means. In addition to turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, 'tis the season when we are absolutely deluged with holiday offers. Between catalogs and Christmas cards and Amazon Prime boxes, our postal delivery professionals are definitely earning their pay.

This week, we received a neat little B2B self-mailer that promoted holiday rewards cards as gifts for the agency's employees, customers and vendors. The seasonal graphics and simple, benefits-driven message made it stand out in a fairly full mailbox.

The address panel uses the valuable real estate above the recipient's name to promote a special offer. "Save up to $750* on Ho-Ho-Holiday Rewards!" This teaser sits beside an image of a MasterCard with some illustrated fir trees. We have two concerns about the teaser. One is that while $750 sounds like a lot of money (because it is), we have nothing to measure it against. Is that half of what we're spending or 10%? And, if the savings are that great, are the products themselves terribly expensive? We also hate to see an asterisk in an offer. (Of course, they are often unavoidable, but right away they detract and raise suspicions.)

The cover of the piece is fun. Two cards, a MasterCard and a Visa appear over a festive winter background. The MasterCard itself has a cute marshmallow snowman floating in hot chocolate. "Spread Some Joy With These Holiday Rewards" reads the headline, followed by a persuasive subhead, "Give Your Employees and Customers What They Want." The "up to $750" offer is promoted again in a burst device.

Inside the three-panel mailer, the overleaf promises that these are "The Most Requestd Holiday Rewards 12 Years in a Row." Intro copy is bulleted, so even if the recipient doesn't read the whole thing, they learn that the cards are co-branded with their logo, that there are more than 150 options, and that the cards ("Happy Cards") are accepted at multiple merchants. The copy — although not set up as a letter — is signed by "The Team at OmniCard."

When the piece is fully opened, the three panels quickly elaborate on those bullets with more cards and more winter images. The final panel explains what Happy Cards are and includes a call to action with reassuring support copy. "It's Easy!" we're told and "Ordering is simple, and our experienced, knowledgeable and very friendly staff members are standing by to help." In addition to a URL and toll-free number, a calendar icon draws attention to a looming deadline and creates a sense of urgency.

Were we to design this piece, we would have made the illustrated background inside the piece more of a seamless experience. Each panel's artwork is different and it feels a bit disjointed. The offer is a little confusing, and there is a lot of disclaimer copy (again, we know that's not always avoidable). Otherwise, this is a whimsical and very direct self-mailer. Even the paper stock feels like quality.

The Bs at B Direct give it a thumbs-up.

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