In January I turned another year older and clever marketers took advantage of the opportunity to touch base with me via their print campaigns. Businesses which gather demographic data such as birthdates have two pieces of useful information. One, they now know how old their customers are and from this they can make assumptions into buying behavior and patterns. Two, they have a specific date to send a targeted birthday message out, and thus just one more reason to make contact. Throughout the three weeks leading up to my birthday I received several birthday greetings in the mail. Below are a few examples of the printed birthday cards I received.
Folded Card From Discover
A festive folded card with an appropriate birthday design is on the front. I like it. It’s cute and intrigues me enough to open it up and read further. Inside I find their offer of a 2% Cash Back Bonus on purchases I make during the month of my birthday. Because I’m spending money anyway this is a nice supplement, and who doesn’t want more cash back. However, I’m not one to know how much cash back I earn from their card normally. The message which could have worked better here is letting me know that the 2% is better than whatever it is the rest of the year, is it 1%? 1.5%? Give me an incentive to spend and I probably will.
In this example you’ll see DSW featured a women’s shoe. Obviously their demographic data states I am female, otherwise this spiked high heel would have been replaced with something more appropriate for a male audience such as an image of a classy leather loafer. So far, so good. The headline mentions my birthday which is letting me know this is a timely message intended just for me. Okay, great. In the upper left corner there’s an offer of $5 off. I would have loved to have seen this $5 off promotion bigger and more obvious. After all that is the selling point here. On the reverse side the details of the $5 off campaign mention the offer is valid just during the month of my birthday. This is well done because it creates a sense of urgency to get me in the door sooner rather than later.
This 6×9 postcard is big in size and can’t be missed. It also features an appetizing visual of their product which is fresh and colorful. Three important things are featured in this image. 1. The Happy Birthday headline. Again grabbing my attention as it’s an important date for me. 2. They’re offering me a free salad any time this month. Like DSW they utilized a deadline here which gives me extra motivation to keep this postcard handy and not stow it away for too long. 3. Their logo is in the lower left corner. MadGreens has used my birthday as one more method for their branding efforts. Nice job MadGreens and I’m already looking forward to my salad.
Colorado Athletic Club Folded Card
I’m still a bit stunned that any organization would send out such a horrible marketing piece such as this. Take a close look at the image and you can see their folded card was originally a “Thank You” card. They repurposed the card by covering up the words “Thank You” with a slightly opaque label imprinted with “Happy Birthday!!”. Wow, I sure felt special when opening this one! On the inside of the card is yet another classy opaque label offering me a free guest pass coupled with a handwritten greeting. A free guest pass is a little bit of a gift, but not a gift for me per se, it’s a gift for a friend. And notice there’s no deadline with their offer. The handwritten greeting is a nice touch, but it would have made a whole lot more impact with a card that was actually intended to be a birthday greeting. These guys didn’t go to the same marketing schools as the folks at DSW or MadGreens.
So there you have it, some good, some bad. Hopefully you’ll be able to utilize what you’ve seen with these examples in your birthday card campaigns.