Although you’ve come to expect video online, it’s an altogether different surprise when it shows up in the mail.

This element of surprise was exactly what Cody Clark, Global Campaign Manager at ExactTarget was going for when he created an innovative direct mail campaign featuring a video message.

Here’s a look at the mailer in action:

Pretty flippin’ cool, hey?

The Magic Behind the Video Mailer

While at first glance the video card looks like it contains a tablet or iPad, it’s actually more simple and inexpensive.

Similar to a birthday card that plays music, the card uses a slim 5″ LED screen to display the video uploaded via a USB similar to a flash drive. The marketers at ExactTarget were able to simply drag and drop their custom video file onto the USB to have it work. As a bonus, Cody notes the LED cards are incredibly durable which worked out great for direct mail.

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Designed to Make an Impact

After running a massive event like Dreamforce, it’s always a challenge for any organization to figure out the best way to follow up. You want event attendees – in this case targeted CMOs and executives – to remember the value they took away from the event, and the goal is to have influencers keep the item you send them. Essentially, if you’re on someone’s desk, you can remain top of mind.

When brainstorming ideas for the mailer and what would stand out, Cody says video was the obvious choice:

“Incorporating video was a great way to thank people for attending and get them excited for new things to come. Video was the perfect way to tell that story”.

Although they release lots of direct mail campaigns, this was the first time the company has combined the forces of the marketing, content, and video teams together to create a compelling video piece. In terms of measuring the success of the mailer, the sales development team will track the opportunities that arise as a direct result of the card.

I think ExactTarget has done an excellent job, as evidenced by the reaction of those receiving their video cards:

Not only that, but when the mailer arrived here in the Vidyard office, everyone wanted to take a look (or, in the case of the engineers, take it apart to see its inner workings).

What do you think, marketers?

Have you received direct mail with video yet? Is it something you’d consider doing with your own marketing budget? Let me know with a comment below!

Jennifer Pepper