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When Direct Mail Whups the Pants off Email

September 14th, 2015 Posted in Direct Mail, Fundraising
In 1984, Peggy and I launched a niche business — the newsletter and archive service on direct mail — Who’s Mailing What!

I still adore direct mail, while email bores the hell out of me.

[Check out the media player where the first image compares a Bill Jayme/Heikki Ratalahti envelope vs. my dreary inbox.]

What triggered this column was a simply spectacular direct mail package from the Danbury Mint. The offer:

A two-sided pendant necklace with diamonds on the front.

On the back were Peggy and my names personally engraved in gold with the message:





As you can see, in images two through four, personalization was everywhere:

  • Our names (Margaret and Denny) appeared 10 times each in the various elements.
  • The personalized pendant photograph with our engraved names appeared five times:
    • Outside carrier front
    • Outside carrier back (with name and address)
    • Carrier inside
    • Lift piece
    • Order form

Simply dazzling!

One other mailing that matches this for inventiveness (and cost!)—the American Express Platinum Card launch, 28 years ago.


Takeaways to Consider

  • Direct mail is tactile — not virtual.
  • You cannot click it out of your life. It must be handled.
  • You can use dazzling graphics and personalization.
  • If you are launching a new product or service, think long and hard about using off-the-page advertising or the Internet. These are public forums. Your product can be seen by Chinese thieves who replicate your offer and put you out of business in hours.

Target Marketing magazine


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