To ensure that their mailing piece doesn’t get lost in the sea of mailings prospective students receive from colleges everywhere, marketing and outreach representatives at the University created a direct mail piece in the shape of a Red Salmon. Thus far they are reeling in lots of new interest from prospective students.
The “fish,” a full color, 9” x 4” die-cut shape, was designed to be used as a handout at the Tanana Valley State Fair, at high school college fairs and senior nights, and as a direct response mailer to prospective students who have expressed an interest in an oceanographic studies, fisheries or marine science degree program. The fish is handed out and is also mailed to prospective students using a clear envelope, ensuring it gets attention.
“This fish is a hit. It definitely stands out in the mail, and we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from potential students, community members, and other departments here at the university,”
The piece was created by Tampa-based ThinkShapes Mail, which specializes in developing direct marketing campaigns and trade show hand-outs in shapes as varied as the imagination. Owner Karen O’Brien says their business has boomed in recent months, as marketers turn attention back to direct mail.
“Marketing went online almost exclusively for a while, but marketers have found it isn’t nearly as effective as they’d like. We are seeing a trend toward increased use of direct mail. With digital printing, shaped mail can be personalized, offers can be customized, and we can create any shape at an affordable price,” she says.
Postal rates also make mailing shaped pieces affordable. Most can be mailed without an envelope for the same cost as mailing a regular number ten envelope.
According to Voight, it’s a little too soon to determine the results of the University of Alaska campaign, but one thing is certain, it gets attention. Other departments at the University are already planning how they can use shapes to market their majors too.
“I’d be willing to bet that by the time the year is up our marketing teams will have created more shaped mail campaigns. They are affordable. They are creative. They get attention, and we’re certain they’ll get results,” Voight says.
For more information on shaped mail, visit www.thinkshapesmail.com