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Direct Mail Marketing Idea: Talking Cards

For some, talking birthday cards can be something of an embarrassment, yet others may find them endearing. However, when it comes to marketing, such devices may be just the thing a small business owner needs to separate his or her company from the competition.

Political consultant Crystal Martin recognized the value of this very simple technology when her daughter received a birthday card that played "Happy Birthday" when she opened it.

"That inspired Martin, a political consultant for congressional candidate Jim Reed in California, to create a talking direct mail brochure that would help her boss stand out," writes Lindsay Silberman for Inc. magazine. "Martin found a Chinese manufacturer to make a lightweight sound module that would not require extra postage."

The Reed campaign then printed and distributed 2,500 cards featuring the candidate's voice to voters throughout California. Although he ultimately lost the election last fall, Martin has begun developing similar direct mail campaigns for clients.

More importantly, the story underscores the importance of creativity in developing marketing strategies, particularly for direct mail campaigns.

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