Monday, 6 February 2012

Carry on addressing

We think we’ve found the hardest working carrier sheets out there—and possibly the laziest.

A catalogue from Agriframes landed on our doormat in mid-January with a carrier sheet featuring no fewer than three different offers. The first was a £10 gift voucher awarded if we spent £200, the second was a monthly draw to win a £100 voucher by sending in photos of our garden and the third offer was a thermometer, “worth £10.99” if we placed our order before 30th April.

Agriframes' carrier sheet
But while the carrier sheet worked hard to persuade us to spend, the catalogue’s cover was unassuming: an image of a woman and child walking under a gothic pergola that linked to its “Guaranteed for a Generation” tagline. We’d have liked to see at least one of the offers promoted on the cover. We’d also have liked a bit of colour on the carrier sheet too.

Making even more of the carrier sheet is the Happy Puzzle Company. Whereas Agriframes printed its address sheet in mono, the Happy Puzzle Company opted for full-colour. Received in time for Christmas, this festive example was packed with special offers and useful information. There was a choice of free gift—with illustrations. There were also details of last-order deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery and a reassuring note that the Happy Puzzle Company are product experts here to help us make the best purchasing decision.

The Happy Puzzle Company's carrier sheet

In the b-to-b sector, we liked this example from retail supplies cataloguer Morplan. Technically this isn’t a carrier sheet; the address is printed on the cover and a separate sheet is overlaid with a cutout for the address to show through, but it serves the same purpose. Again, a promotion is the most prominent feature—in this case a prize draw to win £1,000 to spend at Morplan.

Morplan's carrier sheet

Another b-to-b marketer, ESE Direct, uses the carrier sheet to display its award-winning status, its high customer satisfaction score and its low prices.

ESE Direct's carrier sheet

The carrier sheet is a premium spot to make some last-minute promotions or encourage impulse buying. It’s another chance to help your catalogue stand out from the rest of the mail. It’s also a useful way of segmenting offers for different buyers, and can save money on potentially costly personalised catalogue covers. There’s really no excuse not to make the most of this prime real estate. So isn’t is just slightly ironic that a manufacturer of flags and customised signage displays no creativity on its carrier sheet at all?--MT

 Doublet carrier sheet

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