Direct Marketing Monday – Oct. 24, 2011

Hello DM world…it’s another soggy Monday (why does it seem that Mondays are soggier than any other day of the week?), but at least we’re inside and feeling good…right?  Right?

Well, I’m feeling good, specifically because I just got back from a spontaneous trip to Montreal.  my girlfriend and I had some things to do Saturday morning and then a few more errands to run in the afternoon until the following conversation took place while we were out shopping:

“Babe, I need some pants for work.”

“Okay.  Where do you usually get your pants?”

“At Simons in Montreal.”

“Oh…maybe we should go.  We could get calzones from Eurodeli.”

“We could get bagels from Fairmount.  Let’s do it.”

“Okay, we’ll need to make a Shoppers Drug Mart stop first.”

“We’ll do it in Kingston.  Let’s just pick up some underclothes to at least change into tomorrow.”

“Amazing!  The power of Eurodeli!”

“And Fairmount bagels!”

And we were on our way.  Booked a hotel from the 401, got in later that night and had a blast.  Okay, so what does any of this have to do with direct marketing?  Well, I got to thinking about the things that really got us sold on going to Montreal.  We go every once in a while; it’s my birthplace, I have family there and spent my childhood years going back all the time; I even ended up going to university there, so it’s my home away from home.  There is some emotional incentive to go, but the things that put us over the top to just head out with the clothes on our backs were two things: calzones and bagels.  Two places in Montreal have such a great reputation for doing one thing that we were willing to drive five hours at night to get our fix.

So again, what does this have to do with direct marketing?  Think about some of the different mail pieces you receive on a weekly basis.  There are those that are done well and catch your eye or have a great message that make you want to look inside.  There are those that miss the mark and only get a slight glance before heading into the recycle bin; there are those that look like no real time was even spent on them and get a direct route to the recycle bin; there are the annoying ones delivered to your address, but addressed to somebody who hasn’t lived there in five years (marketers really should have their databases cleansed at least twice a year…I can help you with that if you’d like) …and then there are the ones that when they arrive you say, “Wow, is it that time again?”  I’ve actually been looking forward to getting this.

There are some really good events out there that have DM as part of their marketing mix and do a great  job of integrating their campaigns.  The Canadian Cancer Society and Princess Margaret Hospital lotteries come to mind as successful campaigns, but I received a mail piece the other day did its job just by providing me with a reminder about the event.  It was the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Calendar Lottery piece that came a little over a week ago.  Now, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has become pretty well known for its Big Bike events, Jump Rope for Heart and even its annual Ride for Heart at the start of June, but with this Calendar Lottery, they could really get known for a single event.  The amount of winners that this campaign delivers and the actual amount of money is astonishing.  You think, “I actually have a pretty good chance of winning ” and while you’re doing it, you’re helping a credible not for profit organization.

I’m going to end up getting a calendar from HSF and I have the mail piece on my fridge as a reminder to do it before the end of the month to get in on some bonuses.   This event has the kind of appeal to it that will bring donors to it on an annual basis; it is something they will get excited about…sort of like how my girlfriend and I have an attachment to Fairmount and Eurodeli.  So when you’re working on your next campaign, before you have all of the research done, the creative perfectly placed, everything ready to go, take a minute to think, “Have we really created something that people want to buy?  Is this something that is going to resonate?”  Because I’m sorry to say it, but all of the glossy print, cool creative and wordsmithing won’t get people to take the route you want if the destination isn’t anything to write home about.


  1. avatar Jennie Miller (@gwenstyles) Says:

    What a fun impromptu trip!

  2. avatar Jay Says:

    Yep, it was a blast!

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