Sprig's Clever Postcard Messages


Scout Postcard Review: Sprig

Sprig was an artisan, on-demand food delivery service here in San Francisco and even though they eventually went out of business, during their growth period they leveraged some incredible postcard messaging and a few design tricks to boost their campaign's conversion rate.

There are dozens of meal delivery companies in the U.S. right now (thanks venture capital!) and all of them are fighting to win over new customers with unique marketing techniques. This postcard in particular caught our eye simply because of how damn weird it was.

Let's break it down.

P.S. If you are looking for new ways to upgrade your direct mail campaigns then contact us here or if you are feeling more generous today, free me from my digital prison in the bottom right of your screen.

Frontside of Sprig's Clever Postcard: A

So what's so special about this? Notice anything funky?

The size of this postcard was 3 x 11! Super short, but very wide. Scout has analyzed and sent hundreds of thousands of postcards and never seen one quite like this.

The question is why would you ever want to send a non-uniform-sized mailer like this?

Simple: creativity captures attention.

When someone flips through a stack of mail, they will look at each piece for about 1.5-2 seconds. Now that number can greatly vary depending on the prospect's initial impression. If the design is killer and/or if they are in the market for that product/service (this is why finding the best mailer list is important) then they'll spend much more time looking it over.

No one on the Scout team is a psychologist by trade, but we know from experience that when one item in a lineup is completely different from any of the others we tend to give it much more attention.

So the size grabs the recipient's attention for an extra second or two, what next?

The reader will probably go on to read the big, bolded brand and the offer. Nowhere on the front does it say what exactly Sprig does, but that's when the delicious imagery comes in. Between that and the offer, it's clear that Sprig is in the food industry.

Typically we recommend companies who don't have cult-like followings (think Patagonia, Nike, Apple) to leave their business logo small (because no one cares that much) and use the front side of the postcard to sell based on features, capabilities, and an offer which collectivity give a reader much more context to go off of.

But this postcard doesn't fall under the "traditional advertisements" umbrella. It's okay to test with bold messaging, as long as you still have a strong offer.

"Get your first meal free" is a great hook. Especially when accompanied by imagery of high-quality, healthy-looking grub.

Overall, this side of the postcard get's an A from our team for these reasons:

  • Unconventional postcard size (3 x 11) is a bold move to grab another second or two of the reader's attention
  • The imagery combined with the offer explain what the company does clearly and concisely
  • The hook (offer) is intriguing and doesn't have any strings attached like *rules and regulations apply...

The single item that could have brought this side of the card from an A to an A+ would be a bold text expiration date. You can "set the hook" with a strong offer, but there is a big gap between interest and action. Deadlines push prospects to come to you.

Unfortunately, the backside doesn't meet the same bar.

Backside of Sprig's postcard: C+

Sprig's headline: "Healthy, delicious meals delivered in 20 minutes or less." is simply too long. They might as well have written the entire The Gettysburg Address here.

They should have said: "Sprig - Fast Healthy Meals."

It gets the same point across without the fluff.

Since this side is more complex than the front, let's go step-by-step here.

  1. As mentioned, their tagline is way too long.
  2. "94109C006B"?! COME ON! My credit card isn't that long. Shorten this redemption code to make it as easy as possible for people to enter the sales pipeline.
  3. Straighten the phone to meet the squared format design. It's awkward.
  4. Damnit, Linda. Why didn't you mention what Sprig's does since they don't do that on the front? Find a better testimonial.
  5. The offer is great, but the way they played it out sucks. I mean, free is good, but it should say FREE MEAL with the code and then a big ole' expiration date.

I am a bit saddened by the back of this card. Sprig did such a good job at the front of the card that by the time I got to the back I was already walking to a nearby restaurant.

No one's got time to enter in a 984 digit code! Their offer should have said, "FREE FOOD, INSTANTLY". It should have had an expiration date and it shouldn't have told me about how much Linda loves it.

The social proof should have been how many people are using it. Like this:

"We've delivered 3,682 meals just this week... and 899 of them have been to people within 1 mile of your neighborhood... want to know what everyone is eating?"

Solid experiment, needs a touch of postcard polish.

Overall, I am pretty proud of Sprig for being bold with this direct mail campaign. The front is near perfect and the back is only mildly a disaster. They could have done much worse, honestly, by trying to put even more crap on the backside. But, they mostly restrained themselves.

While their offer is good (free food), they decided it was best to wrap that offer in a basket of confusing instead of a bouquet of 🌺. Ok, that emoji was gratuitous, but my new computer suggests emojis as I type... thanks for that huge innovation Apple!

As always, we'll keep your postcard designs honest if you keep reading. See you again soon!


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