Have Streetlife outperformed Virgin?
I'm not talking about the song (sang by The Crusaders featuring Randy Crawford and released in 1979 - thanks to my husband for that bit of trivia and apologies to anyone too young to remember).
You see I received a couple of mailshots and I think there are some fundamental differences between the two approaches - there's a picture of both these mailshots at the bottom of this page.
The first mailshot was from Virgin media about their new super duper broadband. But I think they've made a couple of fundamental mistakes.
The first one is that it's addressed to 'The Householder'.
Now how boring is that?
Surely they must have a database which would give the name of the person living at our address?
And apparently it's an exclusive offer - so exclusive that they don't even know my name!
They've also stuck a yellow post-it note on the front - often a good marketing tactic. However, at the bottom of the post-it note it says £355.89 in big numbers. Now it may be because I'm an accountant, but I looked at that and thought "Bloody hell, that's expensive". And it was only when I looked closely that I realised that was my supposed first year saving - because that bit was written in small letters at the bottom to the left of the BIG numbers!
And even worse? The fact that there was a 28-day money back guarantee was also in small letters at the bottom of the post-it note - doh! A guarantee is one of the best marketing assets you have - but you don't hide it in the small print - you shout it from the rooftops!
Now I bet this mailshot is successful - they've repeated it a couple of times. However I think they're missing a few tricks and are probably generating enquiries on the back of their brand name rather than the quality of their mailshot.
Now compare this with a letter we received from a new organisation called 'Streetlife' - you may have come across this in your area.
I hadn't heard of this before and it didn't have my name on it so normally I'd put something like this straight in the bin. However, this time I didn't. So why not?
Well, the address line started with the words 'To the lovely person who lives at...' - quite clearly addressed to me and not Richard!
And at first glance I assumed it was from someone I knew - and before you say anything, not because I think I'm lovely but because it's the sort of things friends will do as a joke! But whatever the reason, it got my attention (and in the absence of a name, how much nicer is this than 'The Householder').
Add to that the fact that right at the top of the letter it says 'Last week 28,642 people joined Streetlife and connected with their local community' - great social proof. If other people are doing it, then maybe I should!
And the letter looks nice - with great design at the bottom based on houses - totally relevant.
The only thing they could have done better? Well, a little bit of local knowledge would have told them that the online community they've invited me to join isn't the one that I should belong to. However, on registering on their website they quickly correct that mistake!
Now I don't know which one is more successful. But I do know which one caught my eye.