As an advertiser, you might think I’m not as influenced by the ads I see. And for the most part, you’d be right. When driving by outdoor boards, for example, I mark them up with my mental red pen if they have more than seven words or more than one message (who can read all that at 70 miles per hour?). When I’m served video spots, I can’t help but consider their production budget or dwell on the way the voiceover said a certain word. When I sort through what often seems like endless direct mail pieces, admittedly, most end up in my recycling bin because they don’t have a fun fold, personalized aspect or a clear call to action. I can’t help it… To reference The Wizard of Oz, I’ve simply seen behind the curtain, and my brain tends to interpret an ad as if it needs to critique the copy and creative before it’s shared with a client. (So, in other words, not like your average consumer.)
However, all this is not to say I’m not susceptible to successful advertising initiatives. I’ve purchased plenty of things I’ve seen on social media (re: TikTok: A platform inspiring infinite purchasing power) and most recently, I received a promotional mailer than actually inspired me to take action.
Direct mail that delivered
Last summer, I downloaded a free trial of Audible (and then used my husband’s email address to do the same) because I was in two weddings and was driving – usually alone – to all the exciting events that unfold ahead of time. I discovered the radio couldn’t hold my attention to Illinois and back, but that I liked listening to autobiographies narrated by the author. It was like Mindy Kaling was sitting in the passenger seat, telling me her life story, making the drive go by faster and helping me put a dent in my TBR (to be read) pile. But… by the time my trials ended, my travels were over, and I let my memberships lapse.
Enter Audible’s re-engagement campaign (whether they’re calling it that or not), in which they sent me a simple direct mail piece that was honestly the first Audible ad I think I’ve been hit with. Inviting me to catch up on everything I’ve missed, coincidentally about a year since I was last active, Audible wrote, “Come back and get your first three months FREE.” And while it wasn’t overly personalized, the mailer featured a wide variety of cover shots, so there were certainly books that appealed to me. (Hello, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, plus autobiographies by Jennifer Grey, Janelle Monae and Viola Davis.)
With a strong CTA – a vanity URL and a QR code leading to the same landing page – I took action and saw a site that matched my mailer (always good to reassure the user that they’re in the right place), which offered the same details and another easy-to-spot CTA. And within moments, I was the proud owner of an active Audible account.
They hooked me with an exclusive incentive that was easy to activate, with no commitments and the option to cancel anytime. I happened to be at my kitchen counter with the intent to pay bills, schedule services and ultimately spend money, and along their brand journey, I was probably at a point where I would’ve fallen out of the funnel fairly soon. So, kudos to you, Audible. (And also… thank you!)
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