Direct marketing is generally annoying, ignored, and disliked. Think television commercials, radio spots, and advertisements in your mailbox. None are paid much attention, and most make it difficult for marketers to measure their ROI.
There is something to be said, however, about tangible marketing materials. Things like receiving photos your hired photographer took on a branded USB instead of a burned CD make a difference in a brand’s perception and equity.
Consumers today are demanding to know: What can your brand do for me? Why is it different from the others? Will it deliver on its promise?
Enter BirthdayPak. Talk about a win-win. Here’s how it works:
- Companies who are looking to advertise send BirthdayPak promotional gift cards for distribution. (Gift cards, loaded with money on them, not coupons.)
- Women sign up online, entering their address and birthday. (Sometimes BirthdayPak uses things like magazine subscription databases to distribute the cards–making the arrival a complete surprise to the birthday girl!)
- BirthdayPak puts together a birthday pack in the form of an oversized card with various local vendors’ gift cards and mails it to the woman during her birthday month.
- These vendors get customers in their stores or restaurants, which drives word of mouth marketing, creating a buzz surrounding their brand. The businesses get the chance to give the BirthdayPak-receiving women their best client experience. There’s no better marketing than that.
Want a closer look at BirthdayPak’s strategy? Check out this short video below, it’s really neat. Can’t view it here? Watch the video on Youtube here.
As stated in the video, BirthdayPak leverages a woman’s “treat yo self” mentality during her birthday month, especially the high-class, high-income women that BirthdayPak specifically targets with their distribution of restaurant, salon, and boutique gift cards. The women who receive a BirthdayPak typically have a disposable income and are much more likely to return to the places they visited as a direct result of the cards they were gifted.
The cards aren’t given in trivial amounts either…some are loaded with $40!
On the BirthdayPak website, the four steps that the company outlines as their strategy are as follows:
- The Engagement
- The Intrigue
- Activation = Permission (women must activate their set of cards online)
- Sharing the Fun
To be honest, most everything I’ve been taught in marketing classes thus far has said that direct mail simply isn’t effective or efficient. Hat’s off to BirthdayPak, which proves that this theory doesn’t always hold true. BirthdayPak is direct mail I can stand behind. Apparently, I’m not the only one. The company won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin “Benny” award for Direct Marketing Excellence by the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association.
But what do the women who have received BirthdayPaks in the past say?
“Wow! I could not believe it last night when I opened the mail and saw this BirthdayPak! I called to schedule a massage (something I have been putting off for many months), and they took me that same night! What a tremendous savings, plus, I ended up signing up for a membership at Hand and Stone since I enjoyed the service so much! Will tell everyone I know about BirthdayPak!” – Krista M., Chalfont, PA.
“Receiving my BirthdayPak in the mail was such a wonderful surprise…and I intend to use every one of my gift cards…I’m celebrating my 50th birthday this week and receiving this was very special…
thank you, BirthdayPak!” – Phyllis M., Edgemont, PA
Neat concept, huh? Want to learn more about BirthdayPak? Check out the company’s website here. Want to sign up to receive one? Click here. Already received your BirthdayPak and want to know how to make the most of your cards? Read my post on stretching the value of your gift cards here.
What do you think about BirthdayPak’s strategy? Does it change your view on direct mail? Comment below & let’s chat!
Blair, I think you may have answered the question I posed on Liz’s post! She talked about how Wall Drug gave the people what they wanted (free ice water) and it brought in the dough. From that, I wondered what companies would have to do to generate the same traffic, and this may be it. Not only do we want companies to know what we want but we also want them to know US. What if BirthdayPak personalized the packages they sent out? How much more traffic would that generate? Personalization! My goodness. I think this is what we’ve been looking for! But you do bring up the issue of cost efficiency. However, I think the extra cost will go a long way. Innovations will need to be made in order to make up the difference in profits, but that just matches the ever-changing world of marketing.
Blair Menzel says
Thanks for your comment, Gabby!
A personalized BirthdayPak would be so fantastic for the consumer, but I wonder if it wouldn’t hurt the vendors. The idea is to give women gift cards to new and different places that they may not visit otherwise…you know, to try them out and hopefully return later? But I would love to receive a customized gift card portfolio…that’d be awesome!
Micahel Marchesani says
Thank you for your thoughtful review of BirthdayPak!
We’ve worked hard to create a marketing platform that delivers as much value to the consumer as the advertiser…we know that if we honor that simple principle, then our company will flourish.
We are currently distributing BirthdayPaks into 4 states, including PA, DE, MD and NJ, but we are working hard to bring BirthdayPak to every large, midsize and small market in the US.
To address Gabby’s comment above, each and every BirthdayPak is highly personalized to each recipient, inlcuding each gift card.
Thanks again, Blair…and congratulations on a great blog!
Michael J. Marchesani
Blair Menzel says
Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!
As I mentioned above, I think the BirthdayPak concept is phenomenal. Love that it’s personalized. Best of luck to you!
D M Conner says
What bothers me is that when clients sign up with Birthdaypak, they confirm not only their name and address, but their birthday. All that’s needed now is a social security number and the road is paved for identity theft. How secure does the company keep this info?
Blair Menzel says
I have no idea. Good point!