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February 04, 2010
A tale of 2 birthday cards
It was my birthday this week, so that usually means birthday-related direct mail from women's retail stores. I have two examples that showcase distinct differences between doing the minimum amount and doing something worth buzz.
Ann Taylor delivered a typical postcard: 15% off a one-time purchase in February. "On your special day, treat yourself with your Birthday Bonus," says. "It's your birthday. May all of your wishes come true."
Anthropologie sent a card in a odd-sized bubble pouch featuring a perforated cupcake with a candle on it. The candle is part of a necklace. It, too, offers 15% for a one-time purchase in February.
"Happy Birthday! Make a wish. And treat yourself to something special...Your candle necklace is for you to keep," it says. "This little gift is for you and only you. And cannot be turned into chocolate, flowers or cash. It's a one-time treat...."
If there's a card that leaves a lasting impression, both of the brand and how I could possibly talk about and show to others, it's easily the Anthropologie card. From the non-standard packaging to a necklace that you can keep to the non-boring copy, it's a winner.
It's easy for anyone to print a postcard. It's a bigger challenge to create something that demonstrates your ability to connect with someone at an emotional level.
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Happy Birthday to you! I've never seen such a thoughtful card from a retailer. It's amazing what some thoughtfulness and ingenuity can do for an experience. It's the little things that count, right?
I wouldn't get too carried away with how easy it is to create a card...I once received a door tag advertising roof repair and on the entire, 2-sided piece there wasn't a phone number, address or website to be found! The really sad part is I was actually in the market for a new roof!
I love the candle necklace idea, though I shudder at the thought of all the excess packaging;)
Definitely the card from Anthropologie. A gift that is actually something you might want always beats a coupon in my mind.
Awsome. See it doesn't take much to be different. Just a little thought and some imagination and whole bunch of fun.
I have to become increasingly calloused to a high volume of marketing messages in order to maintain control of my time and attention. Most of the direct mail pieces that I receive don't make it out of the envelope, much less convince me to make a phone call or drive to a store.
I agree that businesses need to connect with me on a more personal or more targeted level. The "Important Service Notice" letter from Geico fooled me once, but not twice - yet I receive it every week. It's not personal, I'm just not in the market for car insurance...
It's like that marketing giant Seth Godin said - it's the little, remarkable 'free prizes' that can differentiate businesses in a very real, very personal way. Hope you had a great birthday!
First, Happy Birthday! Secondly, what a brilliant study this is. Indeed most people would actually take the time to look at and read the candle card. The other one would go mostly unnoticed. Except for the die hard Ann Taylor fans.
Brilliant marketing. Thanks for sharing.
Happy Birthday! I too look forward to all the birthday deals that come my way once a year!
Whilst the originality and execution of the Anthropologie card is of course much more personal and exciting, and will leave a lasting impression. But will you spend anymore money with them as a result of receiving such original DM?
I could be wrong, but I suspect not. I would also like to know how many of these they send out and to whom and also what else they send?
Answers to these and other questions will determine if they will go down as the best known brand that was original but unprofitable, like PAN AM and other brands we've heard of but died because they were unprofitable.
tank for your article
Great to see Ann Taylor sending thses types of postcards. I can certainlyuse some of those :)
Happy B. Day!