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Mailbox Monday


It's that time of year again! Mailboxes are stuffed with Christmas cards and catalogs (alas, more of the latter than the former). And local retailers and service businesses send postcards encouraging us to do our holiday shopping with them.

This week, we received a generous-sized postcard from Elements Massage. To be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment.

Don't get us wrong. The Bs like a massage as well as the next person. In fact, a gift card for a massage (which is what the postcard is promoting) sounds like a pretty fabulous gift. The offer was attractive too: Buy One, Get One 50% Off. And, as already mentioned, the card was oversized: 5.5" x 11".

So, what's wrong?

Pretty much everything else.

First of all, the card doesn't use any aspirational photos of happy people receiving or having just enjoyed a massage. Instead, we have red and grey clipart of snowflakes and a tiny tree made out of triangles. If the card is trying to communicate Christmas more than the benefits of the company's services, a different color palette would help. (Red and green are pretty much the universal colors for Christmas — or, if the company is trying to be non-denominational, a nice silver and blue would feel wintry.)

The art side of the card includes the slightly confusing line: "You're Invited to our Holiday Gift Card Sale!" A call-out explains that the offer is valid through December 24th at a particular location. There's a call-to-action (good), but it doesn't provide the information needed to actually take action (bad). "To order your gift cards call, email us, or visit the studio today!" No phone, no email, no address.

Of course, those details are on the other side of the card, but why not make taking action as simple as possible?

The address side of the card has the same information as the art side (with the addition of those all-important response options). There's wasted real estate above the mailing address — a postcard area, especially on a card this big, that's actually a hot spot and should be used to promotional advantage.

Here's what we would recommend:

  • Use some photos of people. (People like to look at people.)
  • Feature some of the benefits of getting (or gifting) a massage.
  • Include a local customer testimonial.
  • Suggest some people who would appreciate a massage gift card,
  • Adjust or add some colors.

The Bs at B Direct give the postcard a thumbs down. (But, if anyone wants to get us a massage gift card — or three — we're all for it!)

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