The b direct logo Hive

Mailbox Monday


A typical day in the B Direct mailbox. We received an always massive Uline catalog. We received two different packages from Pitney Bowes, marketing the mailstation2 (an A/B test perhaps?). We received three different packages offering us business loans or lines of credit (Century Bank, American Express, Bank of America). There was a direct marketing newsletter from a favorite vendor. There was an ad industry trade magazine. There was a self-mailer promoting an upcoming conference.

Yes, a typical day and — essentially — a typical snore-fest.

But wait! What's this?

Buried under all the banking offers was an A7 envelope (which may not mean anything if you don't eat, drink, breathe and sleep direct mail like we do). Roughly the shape and size of a greeting card (7 1/4" x 5 1/4"), the address side had elegant metallic type and let us know that it had come from New England Home, one of the glossy magazines we run ads in on behalf of a large retail client. There was an indicia rather than a stamp, but the piece was sent First-Class. Unfortunately, there was also an obvious and rather intrusive bar code above the mailing address.

So, it was clearly a piece of direct mail. But, it still looked more promising — and more personal — than the rest of the day's USPS deliveries.

There was a single insert, a clean, handsome card that announced "The 2017 Inductees" of the New England Design Hall of fame. Inside, was a fairly formal message:

"We are pleased to bring together our region's residential architecture, design, and custom building community to honor five more of the industry's premier figures."

Then, laid out like an invitation was the date, time and location, for the awards ceremony. The program is about three weeks away at Boston's prestigious State Room. Cocktails will be at 6:30 with dinner following at 7:45. On the back of the invitation was a list of Gold Sponsors, including our client and a number of other companies with whom we would love to do business.

We were about to put the event in our respective calendars, when we noticed something. There was no way to respond. No way whatsoever. No reply card; no 800-number; no email; no URL. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Was it a mistake? If so, it was a big one.

Was it simply an announcement, rather than an invitation? Perhaps, but then the copy shouldn't have included a reference to cocktails and dinner.

Of course, we are a twenty-first century direct marketing agency, so we quickly pulled up New England Home's website and found a tile ad for the event right on the home page. We clicked through and learned ...

It was sold out.

As you've probably guessed, this invitation to nowhere earned a definitive thumbs-down from the Bs.

Ah well. Better luck next time. (And, next time, include a way to RSVP, SVP.)

But Don't Take Our Word for It
The Classic Question: To Brand or Not to Brand?

For creative marketing that really works, it’s time for B Direct.

Contact Form Popup

© 2020 B Direct Marketing Communications – All rights reserved.