A great direct mail campaign can lead to unprecedented results. WrestleMania’s Mincemeat campaign is a prime example of this. It generated a staggering 60% conversion rate! As you might imagine, the direction from ad agency RAPP New Zealand was far from conventional. They went way outside the box on this one.
WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling event for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). It airs during peak times on weekends in the USA, on early Sunday evening. It’s also streamed live in New Zealand. So it airs inconveniently on a Monday, starting at noon – smack-dab in the middle of the work and school day. Viewers in New Zealand also pay a fee to watch the event on SKY TV — a steep $19.95 NZD to be exact (approximately $18.07 CDN). With hurdles like these, SKY TV hired RAPP New Zealand to inspire wrestling-loving Kiwis to watch the event, despite the inconvenience and steep price point.
To say that RAPP New Zealand delivered would be an understatement. Their genius direct mail campaign tapped into the heart of the event to turn past viewers into repeat customers. They knew that the biggest draw of this particular year of WrestleMania was the grudge match component. Several big-name WWE wrestlers were gearing up to battle it out with their on-screen rivals. The wrestlers were constantly slinging threats at each other on screen like, “I’m gonna damage you…I’m gonna grind you to a pulp”, which really revved up the fans. To inspire past SKY TV customers to tune in, RAPP sent out shrink-wrapped packets of real mincemeat, complete with labels that looked like a meat-pack sticker, asking: “Who’s gonna be mincemeat?”
Just stop for a second to imagine what it would be like to get a mysterious package of ground meat in the mail. Wouldn’t you want to know who was going to be ground to a pulp? The recipients sure did. 60% of them pre-booked and paid to view the event, despite its inconvenient mid-Monday timeslot and viewing charge.
Where this campaign succeeded is obvious. The ad agency stayed true to the brand and wove its in-your-face attitude into the design of the mailing. When you think about it that way, the campaign doesn’t seem shocking or groundbreaking, just smart and on-brand.
What marketers should take away from this campaign is that an established brand is well-liked for a reason (or several reasons). Its customers are united by their affinity for something distinctive about the company. A good marketer isolates what customers love about a brand, and uses their campaigns to feature it. In short, RAPP New Zealand reminded WWE fans exactly why they love WrestleMania and the WWE — blood lust and anticipation.
You might be asking yourself how you can apply this seemingly extreme example to a more mainstream business. It all boils down to these key considerations when creating your campaign:
#1 How is my brand different?
Even the most basic brands have to be different to stand out. To determine what sets your brand apart, start by looking at the competition. What does your brand offer that competitors don’t?
#2 How can I communicate brand personality?
So you’ve made a list, checked it twice, and you know what sets your brand apart. Now you need to clearly communicate your brand personality. Don’t forget that it never hurts to be visual or tactile about it. If the brand’s prices are low, why not send out an oversized coupon? If its service is outstanding, share a story about over-the-top customer service.
#3 How can I make my campaign bold to engage recipients?
Like good art, great direct mail campaigns trigger strong reactions. Depending on your campaign objectives, you may want your direct mail to create excitement, anticipation or action. You need to be bold to trigger a strong response in your recipients. Your budget may limit you, but you can always use bold messaging and imagery when bold packaging isn’t within reach. What’s important is that you speak the fans’ language to ensure your campaign will appeal to them.
#4 How can I leverage customer data?
Good data can help you customize your next direct mail campaign and use it to really reach your recipients. Beyond standard data (first name, last name and email address), you should be keeping closer tabs on your customers and their activity if possible. In the case of this campaign, detailed data helped RAPP target past viewers from a particular area of the world who shared common obstacles preventing them from tuning in to Wrestlemania. The campaign would not have been possible without that data.
The key touch points above will help you define the unique relationship between the brand you’re selling and their customers. Once you know what makes customers swoon, you can highlight it with a creative mailing and target the customers most likely to bite with your data. Whether you choose to send something as outlandish as a package of raw meat or as demure as a letter is up to you, but it’s essential to be confident that your message will resonate.