Today, I received in the mail (yes the old fashioned kind), a letter from an Internet service provider. It was a marketing piece that was targeting businesses in my area (Wangi Wangi NSW) to join up and become a client.
I applaud them for reaching out. The envelope that arrived is pictured below.
Now I often keep marketing mail that arrives in my mailbox.
I keep in what I call my “swipe file”. Lots of marketers keep a “swipe file” as a place to store examples and ideas of marketing techniques and ideas that they come across that may be of use to them some time in the future.
If you run your own business I suggest that you keep a swipe file too.
My swipe file is a storehouse of good ideas, novel approaches and damn innovative material that I often use as a thinking tool when working on a new campaign that is giving me trouble.
Sometimes I take ideas directly from my swipe file, other times the swipe file serves to inspire new ideas when new ideas are slow to appear.
That said, this piece of marketing material that arrived in my (snail) mailbox today, I kept for an entirely different reason.
It was terrible.
What got me riled was this windowed envelope did not even have the courtesy to state who it was addressed to, nothing, a blank, nada. No, in fact, it was worse, it had a barcode.
I had been reduced to even less than a number, I was now a barcode. This is either a mistake, inexperience or they don’t give a flying continental about their prospects.
None of these three are good reasons…
Now I don’t expect mail like this to be addressed to me personally, far from it. I understand, in fact, I probably understand better than most. The reason being is that I used to do quite a bit of bulk mailing myself. I was working in the finance business at the time.
But to have a blank line where a name should be or at least something like “To The Business Owner”, it is just bad manners.
This got my blood pumping.
Being in the marketing space I tend to look at signs and ads just about everywhere I go, especially while out in the car. It is a form of mental callisthenics for me and I think it helps keep my “marketing claws” sharp.
That said I get disappointed when I come across marketing examples that are… well lame.
Bad, ineffective marketing, whether signs, banners, billboards or even mail pieces are a waste. A waste of time for the people who see it every day and worse a waste of time and money for the company behind the campaign.
That’s the rub, bad marketing costs money, effort, energy and can rob the momentum from the people behind it (because it performs badly).
Good marketing, on the other hand, does the opposite, it makes you money.
Anyway back to my story, this letter I had received was too much.
Does this company really think that they will have a success with this campaign?
Sure some people will open it. I did, though maybe not for the reasons the sender intended.
If this campaign gets an open rate of anything over 1% I will be very surprised.
I had to get this off my chest, firstly to help the you who are reading this article and maybe, just maybe help the company behind this epic marketing fail.
Some Direct Mailing Facts
A direct mail piece has about 5 seconds to live once it is in the hands of the recipient.
Today, even with the amount of direct mail we receive from the postman being far less than times gone by (more about that later). I guarantee that when the mail is retrieved from the mailbox, the initial sorting process of what to read happens while standing near the rubbish bin.
If you doubt this, think of those post boxes for rent at the local Post Office.
I bet you have seen the rubbish container placed nearby to collect the “rubbish” from Post Box users checking their mail.
Direct mail is still a powerful way to deliver your marketing message, even more than it was in the past.
The reason, the fall in direct mail volume has lowered the competition for the attention of our prospects. Do not discount the power of direct mail.
Direct Mail Tips To Get I Opened
No windowed envelopes, bills come in these.
Make them look handwritten, we want our mail opened. A handwriting font will do as well.
Consider a coloured envelope, it looks more like something personal
Print the name and address in blue (not black) if possible. More like a pen has been used.
Use stamps, especially if your clients are individual consumers (people) and not other businesses. People use stamps, soulless multinationals use Mailing Machines
Don’t brand your envelopes if possible. We want our mail opened.
The (full-sized) image of the envelope that was the muse for this article is below here again for your review. So is the tweaked version I created with a minor improvement that I think would have increased the open rate of this campaign by (based on my experience) about %500-%800.
As I am writing this another direct mail piece from another internet services provider has arrived.
It might be interesting (fun) to compare these two pieces for you and score them on their merits. I will post this for you soon and update this article with the link to the new comparison.
Have a great day
Tags : #iinet #epicmarketingfails
Let Me Know What You Have On Your Mind...
Let me know how I can help you with your marketing. Simply enter your question in the form here.
I usually respond in 2 hours unless I am on with a Client (48 Hours max) or it's a weekend (I sail :).