Tech Line

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Receiver

All gifting is direct mail, but not all direct mail is gifting. So, what does a high-quality direct mail experience look like? Let’s take a look.

Last week, a business development representative (BDR) at a former customer sent me a message, asking if I’d like to receive some free coffee and then to connect. Sure, I’m a coffee addict, so why not? There was no value connected with message delivered other than the offer to connect, but free coffee is free coffee.

I was interested to see what the coffee delivery would look like. After all, high-quality, orchestrated direct mail ensures an experience that is relevant to the recipient, personal, and delivers a valuable message with a call-to-action (CTA) that drives a response.

Fast forward—today I received his gift. Let’s see what the experience was like.

Missed Opportunity No. 1: No Branding
If you’re spending the money to create and send a package delivered by USPS, UPS, or FedEx, you should deliver a top-notch branded experience. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your money. The box delivered to me was plain brown and the return label was from their gifting vendor, not the sending company. When I opened the box, there was only brown paper and a bag with the coffee branding on it. Again, no branding from the sender, who, after all, if trying to set up a meeting.

Missed Opportunity No. 2: No Personalization
When I opened the bag of coffee, it contained a note clearly printed before it was added to the bag. Personalizing this note would have been the perfect opportunity to say something personal about and to me—the recipient. Instead, it contained nothing more than a generic message with my first name—Dear [Your Name Here]. Further, there was no CTA, no BDR rep’s name, nor any contact information that would help me follow up.

Missed Opportunity No. 3: No Authenticity
There was nothing in the package about the company nor the value they offer. What was included with the coffee was a 2.5” x 4” brochure promoting the array of coffees the vendor provides. The only branding shown was the sending company’s logo on the bag—which we are not showing out of respect for the sending company. In sum: No value proposition delivered.

It’s hard to believe that someone at the sending company approved this. They are probably spending buckets of money for these packages—packages that miss every opportunity to connect and impress, which is what properly orchestrated physical mail delivers.

Here’s one picture of what I received and one showing what a professional, branded experience looks like—one that is delivered in box containing a branded message and the reason it was sent. It includes a personal note from the sender with an authentic message. The promotional items complement the whole presentation.

Side by Side Open
A professional and authentic physical mail experience (left) versus, well, a brown cardboard box (right).
Which would you rather send or receive?