We like to take brand’s postcards and provide feedback on them here on the Scout blog. We often give them grades based on how effective they are at two key things in their direct mail marketing efforts:
Using the format of a postcard to convey a message.
Convincing the person reading to act on your message.
As it turns out, a ton of companies just aren’t really great at either of these things. So, let’s dive into another example of how Equinox could have done a much better job with its postcard.
No Digestible Message
Equinox send this card to me because I was a member of a gym they bought. Here in San Francisco most of their ads are of scantily clad men and women in mildly sexually suggestive positions. I guess the idea is that if you want to look beautiful, you workout here.
This background will help you understand their card a bit better.
Here’s what the front of their card looks like…
You’ll notice a handful of things:
Their major tagline is “find your group”
They have $0 on the postcard, to entice me.
Beautiful people only seem to use their service.
So let’s talk about these three points first. Find my group makes a few assumptions. It makes the assumption that I know the Equinox brand, I know what they do, and that I just need to reconnect with all of my beautiful friends to get benefit from their gym.
But, only once is the word fitness ever used and it’s in small print in the bottom. It took me 5 seconds to understand who this company was and why I got pictures of models in my mail.
The rejoin piece also made an assumption I used to be a member of their gym, which I wasn’t… they acquired my old gym.
The $0 initiation is silly, I think. Everyone knows what when you join a gym you can get them to waive the initiation fee. It’s part of the negotiating on the price for a nicer gym.
The front of this card is a B-. It’s good because it’s simple, the colors are good, the beautiful people confused me enough to want to understand it, and there’s not a lot of text. It needs help with messaging, a confusing graphic, and the * on the offer should refer to an expiration date on the front of the card.
The back leaves me more confused
Let’s start with the back of the card.
This is a disaster! I still don’t know what Equinox does!
Their tagline on the back is long and confusing.
The supporting line asks me to see what’s new from a place I’ve never been.
What kind of a class? Feel a connection with whom… beautiful people?
What good do the social icons or # do? And why list every city you service?
Plus, there are smaller things that really need help on this card.
They have a PO Box as an address, why? Just put the San Francisco gym so that I know at least where my closest gym is located?
The offer is split in two and I had to dig for it. The expiration date is on this side and the actual offer is a smaller piece of text. This whole postcard is white on the back and is full of text, there’s nothing enjoyable about that.
What you can learn from Equinox
Don’t be discouraged by this postcard though, your first postcard will likely look the same (ours did!) You just need to show it to someone who doesn’t know, and honestly, doesn’t care about your product. Just show it to them for 5 seconds and see if they can describe what you do. If they can’t, edit it down.