Why do plastic cards have such a powerful impact on open rates for direct mail? The proverb, “Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back,” comes to mind.
Why Plastic Cards Make the ‘Keep’ Pile
We’ve written at length about how the feel of a plastic card in a mailpiece piques the curiosity of the recipient. Gift card? Credit or debit card? Rebate in the form of a card? Focus group participants confirm it’s almost impossible to avoid opening an envelope that feels like it has a card inside.
Many have written and talked about sorting their mail alongside a trash can or recycling bin and making an immediate keep or toss decision. Few describe what happens next to the “keep” pile, but focus group participants tell us they open the “feel of a card” envelopes first. Why? Those envelopes have the allure and promise of something good, valuable or time-sensitive inside.
ROMI Tells the Story
Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) is another recurring theme when it comes to cards. It’s tempting to look at the plastic card and remove it to make a cost estimate look more attractive. It’s tempting, but before acting on that temptation, be sure to consider its impact on ROMI. Inclusion of a plastic card frequently results in a double-digit lift in response, which more than offsets the additional cost of producing and affixing the card when ROMI is calculated.
Still skeptical? New technology streamlines the process of testing “card vs. no card” while maintaining the integrity of a mailstream that’s been optimized to reduce your postage spend and increase your ROMI. Another intriguing testing strategy looks at the value of the card from a different perspective. Wondering if the call to action (CTA) on the card or the letter is more likely to drive a response? Use a different 800- number or URL on each to find out. You’ll also be able to test which CTA drives a faster response or results in a response curve that skews to a particular day of the week.
The resulting numbers need some human interpretation since human nature is likely to be driving the data. Are your prospects displaying behavior that suggests they save the card and call or visit your website when they return to work on Monday? When you combine IMb-based delivery tracking data with response data, is there a pattern to the speed of response to your letter vs. your card?
If you need an informed and interested team to help you calculate the value of including a plastic card in your next mailing, don’t hesitate to click here and let us know what you need.
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