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Mailbox Monday


An old direct marketing mentor of ours used to joke, "If you can't make it big, make it red."

Actualy, he wasn't joking.

When you're designing direct mail, you want to make an impression and one way to do that is to make your headlines or your graphics or your entire package as BIG as possible.

Another way is to make your campaign small.

When a person empties the contents of their mailbox, they are naturally drawn to anomalies. In the sea of business correspondence and credit card statements they receive on a regular basis, the campaigns that are bigger, smaller, an unusual shape or texture tend to stand out.

We recently received a slick little self-mailer from Santander Bank that stood out for its compact size, silky stock, and metallic gold color. The outside of the package demonstrated a couple of nice choices. The name and address were centered, and teasers on front and back let us know that with their Premium Plus Checking, we could get a $400 bonus. Or, a they stated nicely, "Put an extra $400 in your pocket."

Note: our one issue with the outside of the piece is something that we see time and again. If the recipient reads the address/mail panel first and then flips it over, the message is upside down. This was almost certainly done to maintain a closed edge at the bottom of the address panel to facilitate efficient USPS processing. But, it feels like a mistake. Happily, the rest of the package was less awkward.

Inside, a four panel barrel-fold created three separate reveals. First, we learned that "It's time to enjoy a higher level of service," followed by a quick and clever line "Bank here. Bank there. Bank everywhere." (Alas, no credit was given to Dr. Seuss.)

The second reveal showcased a list of "Benefits beyond the ordnary." Each included a nice, scannable icon along with a relatively brief description. (We work with banks, so we know that true brevity isn't always possible.) At the bottom of this reveal, a die-cut makes the $400 promotion pop. We're directed to the nearest branch and instructed to "present and use your Promotion Code."

Note number two: the promotion code, unfortunately, is a 15-digit alphanumeric code with neither rhyme nor reason. Something simpler to remember would have been preferred.

The third and final reveal includes footnotes and legal disclosure along with an easy to follow 3-step "How to get your $400 bonus."

To recap, we had two issues with the package: the upside-down outer messaging and a clumsy promotion code. However, the design is simple and sophisticated; the copy is friendly and straightforward; and the offer is compelling.

The Bs at B Direct give this nice, little package a nice, little thumbs up.


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