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Mailbox Monday


One of the most sacred commandments of direct marketing is this. Test, test, test, and then? Test

Because you can have a great product, a terrific offer, an experienced creative team, even an optimized control package, but every campaign is unique. What worked the week before may not work now. Or, a mailer that was ignored twice will suddenly be opened, read, and responded to. There's a little bit of mystery to what we do, And, for that reason, we try to keep an open mind when we look at the pieces we receive ourselves.

Well, we try.

Recently, we received a self-mailer from Shopify. Our first reaction was dismissive. "There's no there, there."

It's a fairly generous size, about 5.5" x 8.5". It's three panels, but one is as short as an envelope flap (and used to seal the top of the piece) so there's really only two panels for "live" messaging. The paper stock is quite nice.

On the address side, there's a lot of "white space" and a teaser: "Grow your business today with Shopify," and the instruction "Open to learn how to get started. On the reverse side, the flap has a promotional offer "Start selling for $1/month" and a QR code. Then the piece's sole visual (a globe) and a quick paragraph:

Join millions of entrepreneurs who trust Shopify
Whether you're selling products down the street or around the world, we have all the tools you need.

Once inside, the two-plus panels are split into four sections. First is "Everything your business needs to get to the next level" followed by four squares that walk us through the process: "Start, Sell, Market, Manage" each with a sentence explaining how we get to that next level. Then, there's a ticker-tape element that repeats the offer "Start selling for $1/month." Then a call-to-action of sorts: "Discover why millions of entrepreneurs chose Shopify to build their business — from hello world to IPO," followed by a snapshot of the company's size and reach. Finally, a banner at the bottom serves up the offer (one more time) and another QR code.

The entire piece has — maybe — 160 words. Other than the globe graphic on the exterior, there is no art. The piece is completely concept-free. In fact, it looks almost like someone (and not an art director) created a couple of PowerPoint slides, printed, and mailed them.

Definitely what we would call, Creative Lite.

But, is that necessarily bad? Maybe Shopify has already tried personalized letters, snap-paks, or colorful brochures. Maybe their audience of busy business owners is too busy being business owners to stop and read something longer. Maybe they just want the facts. The facts are certainly here, and presented in a way that's quick and clear and easy.

The Bs at B Direct, after some consideration, give theself-mailer a thumbs-up.

Or, at least admit that it's worth testing.


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