Direct Mail Fail

Direct Mail is still a focal point in todays marketing scheme. Just ask the experts at Chipotle that mailed me a coupon last week. Thank you Chipotle Marketing Execs for my tasty guacamole and chips #forfree.

As much as Direct Mailers can be a boon for a small business (or locally focused business), it can also have vast negative repercussions if done poorly. A improperly worded slogan, a misguided picture, the wrong telephone number and so on can negatively impact business.

Below is an example of one such mistake, which we should all learn from:

Chinese food anyone?

Chinese food anyone?

Overall the concept was clever; put a To Go menu on my door so that when I arrive home in the evening I would find it. Then I would be hungry for Chinese, see the lovely General Tso’s option and order $30 worth of Chinese Food.

There was some logic missing in the thought process…

No one wants to order from a Chinese Food place that is shutting its doors. The above menu suggests:

A. The company has failed once.

B. They can no longer afford to update their print materials.

C. No one should eat there since they can’t even get a to go menu right (What could possibly be going on in their kitchen?! That’s not real chicken?!).

Overall the attempt was well guided. From a marketing perspective they failed horrifically. Why would I want to eat at a place with locations closing? Don’t go through the effort to put a campaign together to only do half the work. All they had to do was update and print new menus.

It would be like sending an email blast with typos and broken links. You can easily fix that!

There were plenty of other items missed as well. Perhaps a call to action, a value proposition, etc. There are too many other places to eat in town to not differentiate themselves. Not everyone around town puts out such bad direct mailers, but something to entice the customer to walk in the door is needed. A few tweaks and this Direct Mailer could have gone from F to A+.