Simple and effective Direct Mail Marketing

2014-03-21 18.30.34OK.  I was not very nice the other day on Google+, when I mentioned I had an example of effective direct mail marketing, but didn’t share what it was.  So, before I dive into our homemade pizza, here’s the example of an excellent direct mail piece.


We received a postcard this week from our veterinarian addressed to my wife, but the salutation was to Benjamin.  Benjamin is one of our guinea pigs, and we’ve had him into this vet on a few occassions.  But the first thing I REALLY noticed was that the card had a full bleed 4-color photo of Benjamin.  It wasn’t a stock photo of a guinea pig, or just a photo of a bunch of pets.  It was specifically Benjamin.  And as I mentioned, the card’s salutation was to Benjamin.

Dear Benjamin,

Our records indicate that you will soon be due for important health services.  Please remind Lorrie (that’s my wife, by the way) to call our office….to schedule your appointment because regular visits are an essential part of your health care.

We can’t wait to see you and Lorrie!

Now, this wasn’t a spectacular direct mail piece with a PURL or a QR code, or an enticing offer.  But it was a good example of how to use data, and use it effectively.

2014-03-21 18.30.52


Simple data was the key.  All the needed was a photo of Benjamin, which they had taken on a previous visit.  Then, other than our address, they had a set script with variable in the spots that I underlined above.  There was also a small area of copy that had Benjamin’s name again, and indicated what procedure was needed, in this case, an examination.

But I was SO IMPRESSED by their use of just very simple data, that I have kept the card, and was inspired to write this blog.  It illustrates how simple and effective personalized direct mail can be.

Kudos to Northwood Animal Hospital in Irvine, California, for demonstrating simple variable data and personalized direct mail.

Find Northwood Animal Hospital on Facebook and at their website.

Connect with John on Google+Twitter and LinkedIn.


About John Prothero

John Prothero is a print professional with over 30 years experience in the print industry. Starting out as a driver delivering jobs, he worked in bindery, proofing, plating, traditional prepress (camera and stripping), scheduling, job planning, job management, account management and digital job production. His skills also run in the area of blog authorship, social media management, and lead generation and qualification of prospective clients. John is also a contributor to Rhode Island Creative Magazine, a digital publication that highlights the creative spirit of the state of Rhode Island. You can read their online issues at
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2 Responses to Simple and effective Direct Mail Marketing

  1. Marc says:

    Sometimes less is more. Direct Mail works.

  2. Dylan says:

    Great example of simple data direct mail! Not a fancy card, but that personalized touch made all the difference. And despite the photograph of your pet, I bet the production cost were relatively low. Thanks for sharing this direct mail marketing success!

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