When creating a direct mailing promotion, a key roadblock facing marketers is to overcome mail recipients’ reluctance to read the material. For postcard mailings, this is not too difficult as most people that pull it out of their mailbox will at least take a few seconds to see what the postcard is about. However, getting people to read becomes more challenging when the direct mail piece is contained within an envelope that must be opened. To encourage the opening, marketers look to such creative options as colorful envelope designs and using persuasive wording, such as “Limited Time Offer Included Inside.”
Another method to entice opening is to include something inside that is evident when holding the envelope. For instance, including an item that provides extra weight or presents a slight lump or solid feel to parts of the envelope. People feeling that there is something different with the envelope, may be inclined to take a few seconds more to evaluate whether to open. Marketers hope this extra time will increase the recipient’s curiosity and lead to higher open rates.
Depending on who will be receiving the mailing, the item included must be chosen careful so that the person who opens the envelope feels their time is not wasted. Marketers also need to make sure what is included is relevant to the recipient and, especially, not something that will annoy them.
Well, here is an example of a mailing promotion that includes an item that may be annoying to its recipients. As noted in the picture included with this blog post, leading pharmaceutical firm Biogen sent out a direct mailing to people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The mailing included a booklet that encourages MS patients to respond to a series of questions and make notes related to the issues presented. To help them make notes the mailing included a small, flat yellow pen, which gave part of the envelope a slightly firmer feel.
The issue with this promotion is the pen. A key physical symptom for many MS patients is the inability to grasp small items, such as this pen. Consequently, for many people with MS receiving this promotion, they are certain to come away annoyed and wondering if the company behind the promotion is really sensitive to the physical issues facing the people they are targeting with their products.