Home > NewsRelease > #144 Total Wine Post Card
#144 Total Wine Post Card
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, January 19, 2022




#144Blog Post – Wednesday, January 19, 2022


Postedby Denny Hatch


AboutPostcards… and Introducing

Truly AmazingNew Print Technology!


Wereceived the above 6"x9" postcard from Total Wine—our mega wine & booze emporiumacross the bridge in New Jersey. It took me a minute to figure the thing out.


ThenI realized the three bottles of wine at top left were Peggy’s and my regularpurchases.


Detailat right:Peggy’s beloved Anakena ($9.99). In the middle is the red Prototype Zinfandel ($8.99)that I grabbed once because of the cool racing car on the label. We liked itand buy it regularly when we have red meat and guests. The third bottle (acheap red) at left we tried and preferred the racing car brand.


Amazing Personalization!

In60 years of marketing, this is the some of the most sophisticated photographic anddata-management technology I have ever seen—a one-off photo of 3 wines on a colorpostcard personalized for me!


Thismeans if the promotional postcard went to 100,000 customers, every postcard hada unique four-color photograph of 3 purchases by the individual buyer. Ergo,100,000 different postcards.


The Non-Sequitur...

Considerthe headline: If You Like These…

                                 You’ll Love These…


No…I emphatically won’t “love these”!


Forstarters Total Wine is comparing the three wines we bought (at top left) to avodka, a tequila and a wine (at the bottom). This ain’t apples to apples.


Yeah,I regularly buy upmarket vodka from Total Wine—French Grey Goose ($39.09). I’venever heard of the vodka they are touting—STARR BLU ($16.99). Sure, as apensioner I would be interested in finding a down-market (cheaper) vodka akinto Grey Goose in terms of taste and kick. But Total Wine provides no copy… notestimonial… no description of STARR BLU. C’mon Total Wine guys & dolls,convince me to try STARR BLU. I’m game.


Alas,on a postcard, there is no room for lengthy product information or convincing.


Thebottle in the middle is El Padrino Tequila ($28.99). We have never bought orserved tequila in our lives—not at home… not in a bar or restaurant, not on oneof our Viking cruises. (One of the reasons we like Viking is “No Children, No Casino,No Umbrella Drinks.”)


Nowhereon the front or back of this postcard is there any descriptive copy on thecontents of the nine bottles shown.


The Reverse Side of the TotalWine Postcard


                       The offer on the coupon above


                  $15 OFF EVERY $100 Wine

                 Save $15 on EVERY $100 of 759ml

                and 1.5L Winery Direct* Wines.


The15% saving applies to “Winery Direct Wines.” So why are they showing me photos ofVodka and Tequila?


Isure as hell am not going to try a strange vodka based only on a photo of thebottle with no copy, no pedigree, no reviews, no testimonials, no huge price discount.


Simplyusing eye-popping, razzle-dazzle technology and then showing me three totally unfamiliar bottles willNOT change my behavior.

Here's the Postcard I would Have Sent.


All About Total Wine & More.
It's Huge. From the Website...

Total Wine & More is America's Wine Superstore® — the country‘s largest independentretailer of fine wine. We started in 1991 when brothers David and Robert Troneopened a small store in Delaware. Today, we operate 221 superstores across 27states and continue to grow. . . Our typical store carries more than 8,000different wines from every wine-producing region in the world. The typicalTotal Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America‘s mostpopular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000different spirits in every style and price range. 

We're also committed to having the lowest prices on wine, spirits andbeer every day. Our tremendous buying power and special relationships withproducers, importers and wholesalers bring us considerable savings, which wepass on to our customers.

It's our Team Members who make the Total Wine & More shoppingexperience so special. Total Wine & More employs more than 4,000 dedicatedmen and women, including 600 wine service team members and 50 of our mostknowledgeable wine experts, the Total Wine Professionals. All of our wine teammembers participate in extensive training programs, weekly team wine tastingsand monthly wine-producer seminars.Many travel to winemaking regions to meet our producers and learn about theirwines firsthand.  —TW&M Website Copy


Takeaways to Consider

• The two-sided postcard is awham-bam-thank-you-ma’am announcement of an immediately obvious product orservice and a super simple offer that requires an instant yes/no decision.



• In the 30 years I ran the WHO’S MAILINGWHAT! newsletter and archive service (and having pawed over hundreds ofthousands of mailings) I can recall only one product that used a doublepostcard for the launch announcement: VERMONT magazine in the fall of1989.


The title was obvious. It went only to Vermontresidents and businesses (and maybe—if the list was available—former Vermontersthat had moved out-of-state). 


Launch offer on thepostcard: Send for the premier issue Free. (A collector'scopy!) Send no money now. No risk. No obligation. Half-price IntroductoryOffer. If after seeing the first issue you decide VERMONT is not foryou, simply write “cancel” on the bill and return it in the postage paidenvelope. You owe nothing. Keep the first issue as a free gift.


• Instant recognition. VERMONT forVermonters. Send no money now. Detach the reply card and drop it in the mail.Quick. Easy peasy.


• Postcards are a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am salesopportunity.


•  “Of all practical advertising media,only direct mail offers a sufficiently large canvas for telling a completestory.” —Bill Jayme


•  The classic direct mail package includesan intriguing  Outside Envelope [Bill Jayme called the OSE "The hotpants on the hooker"], Letter, Circular or Brochure, Order Form and businessreply envelope plus such extra goodies as little gifts freemiums) that turn itinto a lumpy, attention-getter that stands out from the rest of the mail.


• Compare this to the Total Wine Offer. "Ifyou like these.... You'll Love These." 


• IMO: Here's a case of a marketing guy at TotalWine— dazzled by the combination of personal data with personal photography ofsome hotshot young techie—who assumed the wines pictured would sell themselves. 


• "Successful Direct Marketing/Direct Mail copy is one writer whispering into the ear of one reader and quietly bringing him/her into your fold." —Harry Walsh



Word count:  1036




The Most Fun You Can Have
In the English Language
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.



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