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Mailbox Monday


The first objective of any direct mail package is to get noticed. As direct marketers, we can accomplish this through the use of an arresting image, bold colors, unusual shapes or textures, an enticing message, or creative personalization. If budgets allow, we can develop and produce a piece that stands out because it's bigger than anything else in the mailbox. Or, we can go the opposite direction and create a package that stands out because it's smaller than anything else.

That's exactly what the Appalachian Mountain Club did recently.

Their direct mail package is a lean, mean, but hard-working little machine. The OE has a window, blind return address, real stamp, and recycled paper logo and line. (Right away, we know they know their audience.)

Inside, there's a 2-color card printed on a natural-looking buff stock. "Be outdoors," it advises, branding Appalachian Mtn Cub with the tag "Since 1876." The card opens to a personalized note from AMC's Interim President and CEO. The note checks a number of boxes. There's a "handwritten" Johnson box (Get Discounts! Protect the Outdoors!), a P.S. that nicely summarizes the offer and highlights a campaign URL. And, although the copy is set in paragraphs (bullets or some bolding would be nice), it's scannable enough due to its brevity.

A color-coordinated buckslip with illustrated forest shapes promotes a drawing for a weekend trip to the White Mountains. It's an attractive offer that not only appeals to AMC's target market, but helps brand the organization even more.

There's a personalized reply card, which includes multiple levels of membership, along with just a bit of cute copy. For the $25 U-30 level, they explain "you haven't hit the big 3-0." The back of the card has a quick, bulleted list of benefits and room for credit card information. A BRE is also included with a prompt thanking us for adding our own stamp.

But wait, that's not all.

A final insert, what we call a "freemium," is an AMC sticker with the message "Be Outdoors."

The package is intimate and persuasive, and does exactly what direct mail can and should do: generates demand while building brand.

The Bs at B Direct give it a thumbs-up.

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