10/25/2020

Caviar: What Is It?

Two postcards arrived within a day of each other. One includes elements Targeting, Offer, Creative, Timing, Execution, and Tracking that can make direct mail successful; the other Fails in multiple ways.

freshdirect new customer offer

freshdirect new customer offer

This postcard from freshdirect reflects smart use of these elements, specifically:

  • Targeting: No one at the targeted home has purchased from freshdirect. The targeted home is in a freshdirect delivery area and in a zip code where overall use of grocery delivery has increased.

  • Offer: There is a new customer incentive of $25 off the new customer's first purchase, -- a good reason to to give freshdirect a try. Plus, the offer is valid for about three weeks from the postcard's in-home date, motivating that customer to take action right away.

  • Creative: The 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" postcard clearly communicates its sales proposition both visually and in prose. One side of the postcard succinctly communicates the service provided, and even includes a tag line to reinforce the sales proposition. The address side includes the call to action and supporting benefits messages. The incentive is unambiguous -- at a glance, the reader knows what it is, the value, when to use it, and how to take advantage of it

  • Timing: Mid-October is likely the last time of year to mail and avoid the oncoming clutter associated with holiday catalogs and other gift-related mailings.

  • Execution: The postcard was printed with spot varnish to protect the pictures from appearing scuffed.

  • Tracking: The new customer incentive includes a promo code for the customer to use. This promo code facilitates the customer discount, but it also allows freshdirect to track the customer's path to becoming a customer. This means freshdirect can reasonably assume it was the postcard that motivated customer action.

Well done, freshdirect!

On The Other Hand ... 
The below 6" x 11" postcard from caviar is physically larger than the one from freshdirect, yet it communicates much less. From looking at the postcard, can you answer the question: What is caviar? 

caviar new customer offer 10/2020

caviar new customer offer 10/2020


OK, its a food delivery service -- but what kind of food delivery? Does it deliver meals and groceries like freshdirect, in-home food kits like Blue Apron, or perhaps single-person prepared meals like freshly? From the pictures of the kale salad and what I now think may be a poke bowl, I couldn't tell, but a google search revealed that caviar is a delivery service specializing in meals from high-end restaurants. So, I guess it's more like seamless.

According to their snippet on a Google search caviar offers, "Delivery & takeout from the best local restaurants. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and more, delivered safely to your door."  There you go: a brief, succinct explanation -- one that should have been included on the postcard. The snippet also mentions, "Now offering pickup & no-contact delivery.That is an important supporting message during this pandemic that should also appear on the postcard. The lack of a sales proposition and supporting messages is a Fail for Creative. The postcard has plenty of white space, so why not use it?

Also, it takes a pair of reading glasses to review the disclosure noting that this offer is good through December 7, approximately eight weeks after the postcard arrived. That response window is too long to encourage what is typically an impulse decision: namely, what to have for dinner tonight. This wide response window merits a Fail for Offer.


caviar postcard disclosure text 10/2020
The caviar introductory offer is not valid for DoorDash customers.
It expires eight weeks after arriving in home

That fine print also leads to meriting a Fail for Targeting. The recipient is a regular DoorDash customer, making that person ineligible for the discount. 

wondered why a meal delivery service would make customers of a different meal delivery service ineligible for a discount. In my research, I learned that DoorDash had bought and integrated caviar into the DoorDash network several months ago. Here in New York City, the integration did not go well

For the postcard recipient's mailing address, Caviar offers delivery from only 17 restaurants. That’s a small number compared to DoorDash’s 398 restaurants. (Furthermore, all 17 of Caviar's restaurants were inclusive to those available through DoorDash.) This lack of compelling selection might merit another Fail for Targeting.

There is no reason to expend the cost of sending mail that does not communicate a sales proposition with an invalid, non-urgent discount offer to a home that has limited purchase opportunities. If DoorDash continues to waste marketing dollars like this, caviar's days are numbered. 


Lessons:
  1. When soliciting new customers, communicate a compelling sales proposition.
  2. A response window should be long enough to give a customer time to respond, but not so long that immediacy is discouraged.
  3. Mail your offer only to customers who might be eligible to take advantage of the offer.

1 comment:

Bill Grover said...

Hi Marc,
You make some excellent points. Thanks for sharing this. I see a mini-course in your future.

Bill Grover