5 Unusual Direct-Mail Techniques to Try
In our DM Deconstructed column last month, I shared five eye-catching (and affordable) direct-mail techniques that also work well for nonprofits. Here are some that really push the envelope a bit — the icing on the cake that may be worth a little extra investment. I love these because they are so out of the ordinary and can really pack a punch. But just like in fashion, too much of a good thing can go bad. These unusual techniques stand on their own two feet and don’t need much else to get the point across.
The first marketing piece is a neighborhood mailer, and what better way to remember the contact information than a magnet in the shape of an elastic bandage?! The magnet is laminated onto the postcard and easily removed. It’s great for health-related charities, of course, but think about what special shapes might work for your organization.
This is a great example of the clarity that can be achieved with digital printing. The substrate is clear plastic, so the resulting cranial imprinted image appears similar to an X-ray. White ink is applied to the text addressing areas for contrast. It’s also a unique idea for health-related organizations, but why limit it to just health? The technique is so cool that anyone can try it.
The University Annual Fund mailer is a digital print application that’s the perfect approach to versioning without plate changes. Notice, with each version of school or college, the corresponding images change. There is no cost for plate changes, only the programming charges for versioning. Printed with four-color process, the versioning can be as robust as the variables available — including text and images. This is such a beautiful and low-cost format that it is doable for most budgets.
The next example of marketing to pet lovers is really clever. No, it’s not the three die-cut windows or the check insert to help offset costs of keeping your pet healthy (OK, those are pretty cool too). Rather, it’s the ink-jet personalization of the pet’s name on the outer envelope! In this example, the personalization is done after insertion so it is a matched mailing. Although a little more expensive, this technique is attention-grabbing. You don’t only have to use Fluffy’s name, either. Personalization of any type on the carrier is always striking.
From simple to high-touch
This self-mailer is an example of how to elevate a simple piece to high-touch. The target market is individuals with “above average assets” in need of personal insurance solutions. The outer panel looks fairly ordinary — an image of a single puzzle piece on a black background and the teaser: “Finally … a complete picture for you.” Fold back the first panel and the die-cut puzzle panels invite you to continue unfolding and revealing. The square format includes a nested letter and requires a tabbed closure. If you didn’t already know — square-shaped mail requires additional postage. I can see this being useful to help tell a story for any charity, especially those with photos that tug at the heartstrings.
If you discover a nugget of inspiration in your mailbox (or create one), I’d love to hear! Tell me about it (sending a photo is even better!) by emailing me at CKeedy@psmail.com