The b direct logo Hive

Mailbox Monday


It's official.

Direct mail gets opened when it looks ... well ... official.

That's why so many marketers use tools (and tricks) to make their campaigns look like official notifications. Artwork may include "stamped" deadlines, PINS, seals, bar codes, reference numbers. They may use serious teaser lines like, "Time Sensitive Material" or "Important Documents Enclosed." Or there may be instructions to the letter carrier: "Deliver to Authorized Recipient Only" or "Exclusive Offer: Do Not Forward." Often, the art director has designed the envelope to resemble a FedEx Letterpak or USPS Priority Mail.

The agency just received a B2B package from Comcast Business. It arrived in a generous 9" x 12" envelope with just about as much "official" artwork as possible. We're informed that there are "Time-Sensitive Materials," not once, but twice. A faux mailing label is set up to look like a delivery service waybill, with real estate blocked off for Sender, Recipient, Status, Reference Number, and Special Instructions. A "sticker," complete with drop shadow, includes the January 10 expiration date and a bunch of numbers. Finally, the indicia clues us into the fact that this oh-so-official package is actually presort standard.

Then again, we might have guessed as much given that it's addressed to "Business Owner."

Inside this elaborate envelope is a single sheet of paper. An extremely short letter (neither personalized nor signed) along with a faux tipped on card in lieu of a Johnson box promises "Up to 1 Gig Internet Speed." On the back, features are set up as a simple infographic on what looks like a sales flyer. Overall, the copy is efficient — perhaps a little too efficient. It seems like a lot of formal rigmarole for too simple a message.

The Bs give this a thumbs down. With all its "official" bells and whistles, there simply isn't a lot of there there.

After all, too many faux elements set a high expectation.

And, in the long run, too many faux elements can also make a package look ... well ... faux.

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