Many years ago I was bitten by the Direct Marketing bug and spent a couple of years in a specialist DM agency. For many, Direct Mail could either mean a leaflet stuck inside an envelope or a fancy mail package that borders on the gimmicky (you know stuff like a jack-in-the-box). For the classical DM practitioner it is neither – it is about the science of database marketing and the art of Direct Mail copy backed with great offers – the hooks that get the response.
While most of the award winning DM stuff is of the gimmicky kind, they do have a role to play sometimes. Take for example, this direct mail idea: 401(k) Squared, a small company that specializes full-time in 401k plan development, asked LeeReedy to get a big bang out of their modest direct mail budget. They developed a direct mail piece that featured a live fish inside a box adorned with messaging. The concept? “If someone’s not watching over your 401(k), it won’t thrive either.”
The result? According to the agency: Within weeks, 401(k) Squared had secured a $10M account and was in discussions with a number of large companies to manage their 401(k) accounts, ranging in size from $500k to $20M.
Nice work. Direct Mailers of this kind work on two counts: jaw dropping value or cute quotient value. Shall we put this down as our ‘pet’ DM campaign? Nothing fishy about it? Did the DM ‘bowl’ you over? I better stop now.