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Apr 16, 2001
Case Study

Ad Agency Gets 65% of Busy Execs to RSVP for a Party

SUMMARY: No online marketing here - this Case Study is about a direct mail campaign that San Diego agency Mentus used to convince busy clients and prospects to drop everything to come to their party. If you are creating an invite for a corporate event, this is worth reading.

In order to celebrate its 20th anniversary, marketing and PR firm Mentus Inc. wanted to throw an on-site party. Their goal, to get loads of top executives and media in the San Diego area to attend. Only problem, these types of busy people are hard to catch the attention of, much less convince to drive across town for an event.


Creative Director Rex Anthony decided a direct mail campaign was his best bet. He wanted the mailed invitation to be compelling, without being too in-your-face. He says, "We wanted to convey a message in an understated manner. However an invitation has to be read."

The answer, he felt, lay in production values -- specifically in choosing just the right paper stock. Anthony says, "In addition to eye appeal, I wanted a paper that could be felt. The sense of touch cannot be underestimated." His local paper distributor, Angela Benson of Nationwide Papers, helped him gather a wide variety of samples. The final winner, 80# Keaykolour Metallic paper from Curious, is fairly lightweight yet luxurious-feeling stock in a shimmering charcoal color.

In order to catch attention while remaining businesslike, Anthony chose to mail the invitation in a #9 white, closed-face business envelope. (#9s are slightly smaller than #10 envelopes that most business mail arrives in.) The invitations were addressed with printed pressure sensitive labels. First class postage was applied with the regular office postage machine.


More than 65% of recipients RSVPed to attend the party. Guy Iannuzzi, Mentus Founder and Partner says, "Getting that many busy people to call and say whether they were going to attend or not is simply amazing."

In fact, we know weddings where that many guests don't RSVP without extra prodding.
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