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First Impressions – What Do Your Mailings Say About You?

Remember that old phrase, “You never get a second change to make a first impression?” That’s even true in marketing. So what do your marketing campaigns really say about you? When customers and prospects pick up your postcard, when they open that tri-fold mailer, what impression will they come away with?

Two different approaches:

Dear homeowner,
We’re having a big sale! Come into our showroom this weekend and check out wide variety of merchandise. You’re sure to find something you can’t resist! Take advantage of big discounts all day!

In the eyes of the recipient, what does this say about the marketer sending it? It tells her that the company wants to cast a wide net. It doesn’t really care who shows up. It just wants to get people in the door as inexpensively as possible.

Now take a look at another approach:

Dear Michael,
Thanks for being one of our best customers. Were thrilled that you’ve chose us for your golfing needs. On Thursday, we’re having an exclusive sale on sporting equipment for our top customers only. Bring in this coupon and get a 25% discount.

Imagine this invitation printed on high-quality stock, in full-color, with attractive images of appropriate merchandise. What underlying marketing message does this send the recipient? It tells him that you’re interested in him individually and value his long-term customer loyalty. It tells him that your company values his loyalty enough to make an investment in him, by understanding his preferences and needs (through collected data) and by sending him a high-quality communication.

When you send out marketing communications, you are really sending two messages: your immediate marketing message and a subtle, unspoken message about the recipient’s value to you. Which unspoken message do you want to send?

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