Monday, March 23, 2009

Direct Mail: The Cool, The Lazy and The Stupid

Nathan BushI have received a couple of pieces of that old war house lately, direct mail, and the thing that struck me was how they covered the whole spectrum between great and shithouse. The great one I shared with Nathan Bush, Another Advertising Wanker, and so I invited him to provide in post comments on my direct mail experiences of late.

Nathan says “Generally I try to avoid the letterbox as the Dollarmites puzzle books have been replaced by Commonwealth Bank debt collector threats. But when Oyster told me about the post he was writing I took a little more notice.”

The Stupid – BUDGET Direct

First cab of the rank was a piece of mail that turned up that carried no identifying markings. In the address window it read “You Have Been Specially Selected” and when I opened the envelope it was addressed tspecially selected envelopeo “Dear Resident”.

Wow, really? So special am I that they don’t even know my name! I couldn’t wait to see the offer and I was pleased to read that my suburb has fewer than average car insurance claims and that I should turn over to see what they could save me. I wasn’t surprised when the examples the provided didn’t include any from the ACT.

The culprit, Mark Deighton, General Manager of Sales, BUDGET Direct.

Nathan Bush reckons “This also includes letters from politicians. Why do they put it in envelopes instead of on pamphlets? So that they get you excited and then let you down. Kind of like an election.”

The Lazy – Foxtel

Second comes a combo piece from Foxtel. I have been a long subscriber to Foxtel and I received a refer a friend offer but then a few days later receive another “Dear Resident” letter encouraging me to subscribe! WTF?

Interesting to note that the one actually addressed to me as a subscriber was just signed off by “The Foxtel Team” (and not even a fake signature) but the one encouraging me to subscribe carried a fake signature from Patrick Delaney, Executive Director – Sales and Product. Seriously Patrick, how lazy can you be to not even cross check the database to take out existing subscribers?

Nathan Bush reckons “And there's nothing better that I like than watching football from the comfort of my home while texting the score to those living without Foxtel. I'm not going to recommend my friends get Foxtel - it will take the fun out of it for me”

The Cool – Centrebet

centrebet dl cardThis piece of direct mail is seriously cool and I received it because I have a Centrebet account. The envelope contained a DL sized card and 3 tattoos. The card outlines that I would receive a free $10 bet if I sent Centrebet a photo of me wearing the tattoo at any sporting event in 2009. Each month’s favourite photo receives a free $100 bet and if I can jag a pic with a celebrity then I will go in the draw to win a free $1000 bet on the AFL or NRL grand final, two tickets to one of the grand finals plus $1000 for a charity of my choice.

What a great idea and I know Nath is a big sports fan so I asked him if he had an account and if he got his tattoos? He has an nath bush tattoo account but sadly, did not receive any tattoos. Last reports still have him waiting by the letterbox like a dog who has lost it owner. So, sharing the love, I sent him a tattoo and here he is proudly wearing it at the Broncos v Storm game last Friday night.

I am saving mine for the Socceroos v Uzbekistan World Cup qualifier next week in Sydney. I have one more tattoo left … free to good home. Let me know.

Nath says “It is a bloody big tattoo. Tho only place it would fit was up my arm or across my backside. My girlfriend chose the arm. Despite the embarrassment caused by sitting in a grand stand with a bunch of bigger guys with real tattoos - this was actually quite fun.”

I would however have liked to see them integrate some social media on this one. They could have set up Twitter, Flickr and Facebook accounts and posted pictures of people with their tattoos. Hey Centrebet, there is still time …

Oh, and please see if you can get Nathan Bush his tattoos. You don’t have to worry about him winning any money from the free bets because he is a Raiders supporter.

Finally, Nath says “The element that differentiates the stupid and the lazy from the good is offering something that no other medium can. The stupid and the lazy examples could have easily been emailed or brochured as they showed little creativity or relevance for the DM medium. On the other hand, Centrebet delivered a brand experience via the mail which surprised and excited me. It brought this idea and experience to my door, and to my attention, in a way that no other medium could. That is the power of DM.”

Does anyone have any examples of Cool, Lazy or Stupid DM experiences or want the last tattoo?


Anonymous said...

i was impressed by a very simple DL trifold from MBE that included local news stories on identity theft cases and promoted the security and convenience of their private mail box services. it was a good scare tactic campaign and they turned it around quickly to capitalise on the local press coverage.

Conor Byrne said...

Love the Tattoo piece...great idea. When I first saw it I assumed there was social media element to it too, easy add on.