The Growing Value of Surprise and Delights – Crafting the Perfect Media Mailers

A pleasant surprise can make anyone’s day, whether it’s your favorite sweet treat or beauty products, we can all use a free pick me up.

As such, the San Francisco SHIFT consumer team has leveraged timely and seasonal holidays to surprise media and influencers with their products, samples and treats. Our media mailers have benefited a wide range of our clients from Whole Foods Market to Mpix.

We’ve successfully leveraged surprise and delight mailers to media and influencers to generate buzz around an upcoming event, product announcement or introduce a brand to a new media outlet. Here are a few of the best practices we’ve collected along the way!

  • Personal Touch: Include a hand-written note including the relevant hashtags and social handles, to further encourage media to share their appreciation on social media.
  • Personalize it: Find unique ways to make it just for them. The extra effort will increase your chances of your work paying off.
  • Good Timing: Just like an impersonal email blast, from someone you don’t know, is not appealing, neither is an unexpected package. Reach out to your target ahead of time to confirm shipping information and reduce your risk buy securing interest first.
  • Wet their Appetite: Surprise and delights are a great way to entice interest in an event. Share samples of products that will be featured at the event.
  • Call to Action: Include a fun incentive in your mailer that drives attendance. Omit a clever piece of your mailer (that missing puzzle piece) that can only be retrieved at the launch party.
  • Make it “Grammable”: Think about the unboxing of your mailer. Make it instantly Instagrammable!
  • Skip Traditional Media: Traditional media can’t accept gifts as they’re considered payola – a gift to garner favorable coverage. Focus on influencers or lifestyle editors as they have fewer restrictions.
  • Follow-up Fast: Don’t let the moment pass. Follow-up no longer than one day later with a simple note that says you can’t “wait to hear their thoughts on social media.”

With a world driven by social media, brands are often striving to stand out from one another. These off-line gestures can create emotional connections with media delighting them into brand advocates and long-term media relationships. The value of surprise and delights comes in many forms. Mailers, or drops, will often generate quick social media hits, help kick off a new media relationship, tap into a new audience, further solidify a current media relationship. All of which either nurtures nascent relationship or nourishes a long-standing one creating additional loyalty, awareness and visibility to the brand and continues to establish the reputation of the agency.

A true surprise and delight mailer will inevitably allow your client to stand out in a positive way.

Claire Marvin
Account Executive


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