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Mailbox Monday

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Here's one from the holiday vaults. But, a nice example of personalization that goes beyond "Insert Name Here."

At B Direct, we're big fans (and long-time practitioners) of VDP, variable data printing. Here's a really super use of it from online retailer American Pearl.

It's an oversized (8.5 x 11) self-mailer. The outside address panel promises a 10% coupon, drives us to their online holiday catalog,and encourages us to "Look inside to find the exact match of your previous purchase."

On the cover (or art side) of the self-mailer, a happy model displays her pearly whites as well as multiple necklaces and a pair of earrings. Again, the headline lets us know that there is merchandise inside that matches the jewelry we already bought.

Sure enough, inside we find an image (a terrific image) of the ring that the Creative Director & Queen B bought herself (with the first royalty check from her co-authored book, The New Marketing Conversation). Next to it are images and purchase information for matching earrings, a bracelet and a necklace.

Here's why we like this strategy so much. With this mailer, American Pearl is saying "We know you, we know what you like/what you bought, and we know what you'd like to buy next." This is what we always strive for: relevance. And, a customized offer too sweet to refuse.

We have just three suggestions:

• Don't split the model's face with the gatefold. Her otherwise perfect teeth are looking a little bit crooked here.

• Don't clutter an otherwise elegant package with cheesy opaque wafer seals. Use clear ones or use fugitive glue.

• If you're going to invite someone to a "personalized link," use a PURL (personalized URL). Not an impersonal 8-digit number.

Despite these fairly minor issues, the B's at B Direct give the package a great big shiny thumbs-up.

(Now if the Queen B can just sell another book ... )

To Blog or Not to Blog
Variable Data Printing: Focus on What Matters Most

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