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Mailbox Monday


Here in New England, it's 30-something degrees out. Not the most frigid temp (and no doubt milder than we'll see in January and February and March and, maybe, April). But, to quote a controversial holiday song, "Baby, it's cold outside."

That's one reason we recently enjoyed receiving a self-mailer from Norwegian Cruise Line.

As we shiver here, diligently direct marketing, our thoughts naturally wander to vacations. And, yes, a cruise does sound nice.

This efficient but engaging mailer starts off on the art side with the promise of a bargain.


On the address side, we have a photo of a family of four strolling the deck of a ship, admiring mountain ranges. They look happy (and functional), and copy under the address area gives us three ways to share their experience; we can book online, call a toll-free number, or contact our "travel advisor." The calls to action here, again, hinting that there's an offer inside.

One of the advantages direct mail has over email is how tactile it is. Holding the self-mailer, we can feel that there is something inside; it's thicker in the center than it would be if it were merely a folded piece of paper stock. So, again, there's some anticipation.

Inside, the two-dimensional piece becomes three-dimensional with a pop-up of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, specifically the Norwegian Prima. Copy is brief and to the point. The Black Friday Greatest deal ever" includes:

  • 2nd Guest free
  • Extra bonus points
  • Free airfare
  • Free unlimited open bar
  • Free specialty dining
  • Free excursions
  • Free WIFI
  • Free 3rd and 4th guests

Clearly someone got the memo: "Free" is still the most powerful word in direct.

We're encouraged to "Step aboard with sensational savings." There's a single paragraph of body copy and then the three ways to respond are listed at the bottom.

What we love about this package is that it blends the punch (and staying power) of a 3-D piece with the efficiency of flat mail. It is completely offer-driven, but combines the head and the heart — all that "Free" convinces us that it's a good deal while the pop-up boat draws a smile.

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

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