Let’s Get Direct!

Each week, we’ll distill a new piece of Direct Marketing that we have actually received and break it down for you!


Direct mail, baby! It’s still pumping along! What better way to get to people than right at their homes, every day. With everyone staying home, some by choice, some not, Direct Mail continues to find a captive and engaged audience.

Little side note here; does it work? Of course it works. If it didn’t work, you wouldn’t see it. Is it the best method? On it’s own, probably not. When combined with the power of digital (e-mail or online ads) and outbound phone calls; Direct Mail is a key component of a good direct-to-consumer strategy.


I received this piece the last week of May, via US Mail. As I’ve mentioned before, always check the postal mark to see how much they really care. This one has a stamp on it! It must be First Class, right?

Ugh…Presort Standard! They did not pay full fair…The rest of the envelope is pretty compelling though.

Ooh…”Private”! That sounds interesting! Just interesting enough to get me to open the envelope!


Inside this rather plain looking envelope was one of the craziest, busiest, most-ADHD letters I’ve seen in a while!

Finally, some good news! Coupled with the very bad news that this good news brings; rates will go up once things start getting better!

Anyone who has worked in the financial services industry (or any intangible service industry) knows that nothing works as well as FEAR. It is the primary motivation that drives people to take action. This letter not only leverages several fears we’re all experiencing, it also lets us know that while the future is uncertain, our home is valuable NOW.


Like many Home Equity campaigns, the offer is to monetize your existing asset, your home. This was, for many years, out of the reach of the average American. It wasn’t made fashionable until the mid-to-late 1990’s, and we all know what happened after that. It’s important to remember that Home Equity is a valuable tool for many families to use. This letter assumes we have a little information on what the product is and focuses directly on the economic relief it can provide.

The value proposition is the promise of financial security in uncertain times. Using equity in your home to consolidate debt, skip payments, and lower your interest rate can really create a feeling of empowerment and even help consumers. The most tangible “deal” here is the rate, which can fluctuate wildly from week-to-week. This is the real genius of marketing in financial services; interest rates can be wildly variable from advertised to closed, but make no mistake – it’s a commodity business only differentiated by the marketing and service.

Final Grade – C+

This piece is full information and baiting technique; from the “Private”, to the stamp, to the chart inside, and the family photo; the whole piece is engineered to pique interest, drive emotion (fear), and create a solution that is anchored in safety. They did a good job with all of that, and the “hand-written” elements make it feel personal…even though it’s not…pretty good work.

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