The b direct logo Hive

Mailbox Monday


Traditional direct mail marketers focus on generating demand. Traditional advertisers focus on building brand. At B Direct, we've always argued that the best campaigns can do both.

We recently received a postcard that works very hard to generate demand. Generously sized (6" x 9"), full-color, on a sturdy coated stock, it takes advantage of some tried-and-true promotional techniques.

The art side includes a number of friendly, low-tech illustrations: a dog, a cat, a box bursting with goodies for that dog and cat. There's a bone-shaped pet tag that reads "Your Pet" (kudos if that's just a default and VDP personalization is used of/when they know a pet's name). A corner slice with a faux fold says, "Code on back." Cute copy reads "Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworm, oh my." And the boldest element is an offer, "30% off," that takes advantage of one of the oldest and wisest directives of direct ... "If you can't make it  big, make it red."

The mail and message side wisely uses the "hot zone" above the address area for the offer and an associated redemption code. A headline across the piece reads "PROTECTION FOR YOUR PET" in a handwritten font. The message is personalized by first name (nice!) and promises "Great News <Name>, You are now covered for all flea, tick, and heartworm protection at 30% off exclusive to you." Copy continues by mentioning free shipping, 20,000 products, and a call to action "Stock up today!" There's an 800-number and URL , which are set just like the body copy and, finally, a disclaimer footnote, again set in the handwriting font and all caps.

All-in-all, this is a respectable direct marketing postcard from ... ?

Aye, there's the rub.

The brand is buried within a URL (which isn't even bold or in a second color) and in mouse type in the return address. There is nary a logo in sight and the company name is never touted in a headline, subhead, or even body copy.

While saving money is well and good (actually very well and quite good), most pet owners love their pets and want to be assured that they are dealing with reputable, trustworthy companies.

When you market a brand, it's important to appeal to the head (and in this case, wallet) and the heart. Especially when you're trying to sell something to Fido or Muffy or Blossom's human parents.

Sorry. The Bs at B Direct give this postcard (which is, not so apparently, from PetCareRx) a thumbs down.

So close and yet so unbranded.

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Mailbox Monday

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