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Mailbox Monday


When you look up "Pep Boys" on Wikipedia, the first thing you'll find is a caution that Pep Boys is "Not to be confused with The Pet Shop Boys," an English synthpop duo from the 1980s.

Well, we haven't received anything in the mail from the Pet Shop Boys lately (although their 13th album was released in 2016 and this year saw their Catalogue, a "best of" compilation of Pet Shop Boys hits from 1985-2017 — who knew?). However, we did receive a marvelous little mailer from Pep Boys. 

And given that it's Monday, we thought we'd share it with you.

A little background first. Pep Boys is one of those businesses that proves the marketing value of storytelling. An after-market auto service and repair operation, Pep Boys was founded in 1921 as "Pep Auto Supply Company" by four partners: Manny Rosenfeld, Jack Jackson and two Moes: Strauss and Radavitz (apparently, Moe was a rather popular name at the time). The transition from Pep Auto Supply to Pep Boys is a colorful story. Whenever a local police officer would pull over someone with lights out, he would tell them, "Go see the boys at Pep." 

In the decades that followed, Pep Boys survived the Depression, went public, and grew their business. Today, the company operates more than 8,300 service bays in over 930 locations in 35 states.

Based on the campaign we received, we think they can add Direct Mail Marketing to their list of successes.

The package is a sweet little self-mailer, printed on a nice coated stock. With a fugitive glued flap on the art side of the piece, it acts as its own portfolio, housing four wallet cards with offers and two stepped inserts. The whole package feels special, which makes the offers seem e-special-ly valuable.

The mail panel earns points for housing quite a bit of customer relationship news without looking too cluttered. Teasers appear above, below and next to the address area, "Open Seven days, six nights a week for your convenience." "Register your card online and earn 100 bonus points." And, "To find your nearest location call 1-800-PEP-BOYS or visit"

Flipping the package over, there's a nice seasonal image of a dad and two kids loading up an SUV for a family outing. "The weekend is back," it announces, offering "Rewards Member Savings."

Inside, the message continues, emphasizing how busy we all are in the fall and that weekends are important. Pep Boys can make sure that nothing (like car trouble) comes between you and a weekend.

The offers include a nice variety, from 15% off maintenance and repairs to $50 off brake service, offers for oil changes and open-ended money-off offers "$15 off $50" or "$30 off $100." Essentially, if you're a car owner (and we have to assume that Pep Boys only mailed to car owners), there's something here you can take advantage of. The offer cards themselves are die-cut, perfed, and tipped on. All of this production technique makes them very tempting to the touch. It's virtually impossible not to pull them off and apart.

Meanwhile, the other inserts include less urgent, but definitely value-added messaging about opt-in text offers, their "6 Month No Interest" credit card, premium tire brands (nice use of co-op dollars), and a final Rewards Members call-to-action.

Wow. That's a lot of mileage for one self-mailer.

A peppy thumbs-up from B Direct.

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