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Jan 14 2013

Mailbox Monday: A Book, A Memory and A Disney Pass

I’m super excited about this week’s Mailbox Monday because it deals with one of my favorite places in the world…DISNEYLAND!

A couple weeks ago I received a large white envelope (about 12 in x 9 in). It was addressed to me and I thought it was a personal package. I ripped into it and saw two things- a letter and a book. Based on the Disney logos everywhere, I could tell right away that this package was from Disney and a growing suspicion told me this was not a fun package, but rather an ad. Nevertheless, I’m a Disney fanatic so I pressed on and started reading the letter.

While the letter was clearly a sales letter intended to get me to renew my annual passport, it was written in a personable and friendly way. It was as if someone at the Disney company thought “Hey, you know who I miss? Brianna. I better write her a letter and ask her to become a passport holder again.” While the intent of the letter was to sell me a passport, that was not the focus. I was the focus.

After I had finished the letter I turned my attention to the book. The letter described it as a “complimentary photo book.” This made it sound like a gift as opposed to an advertisement. As I turned the pages I was greeted with high quality, beautiful photos; a little girl dressed as Tinkerbell, a dad and his kids on the Rockets ride, the iconic ferris wheel in California Adventure. I immediately remembered my own wonderful memories of the park and was filled with a longing to return.

That emotional reaction was the focus of the entire promotional piece. There was very little information in the book and no talk of price or instructions on how to get a passport. This may seem stupid and counter intuitive, but it shows that Disney knew their audience very well. As a previous passholder, I already knew how much passes cost, the benefits of a pass and how to purchase one. A mailing piece with just that information would have been thrown away immediately.  But a piece that sparks memories of my first date with my husband, countless nights watching the parade with my college girlfriends and a million trips on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with my little sister is a piece that just might convince me to write a big fat check for happiness.

Although I definitely considered it, in the end I decided not to renew my pass. At this point in life, I simply don’t have the time to go enough to make a pass worth the money. However, you can bet that I will keep that photo book around and every time I look at it my desire for a pass will grow. Eventually something in my current life situation will change and I’ll once again frequent the house of mouse.

Lessons from the Mailbox:

  1. Address pieces to specific people, not simply to “Resident.”
  2. Know your audience and send them pieces that will speak specifically to them.
  3. Make it stand out. The size of the package and the quality of the photo book is what piqued my interest in this piece of mail. But there are lots of different things that can make a piece unique so get creative!
  4. Make a piece that lasts. Not everyone will be ready to immediately respond to your call to action. But if the piece sticks around, they’ll be reminded to contact you when they need you.


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