Re-engaging an audience in ‘plane language’
How can we re-engage an audience that hasn’t thought about us in months, and do it in a way that’s attention-grabbing yet consistent with our brand? In business terms, that was the challenge facing leaders of Agora Cyber Charter School as they sat down to plan an August mailing to enrolled students and their families.
One goal was to get new and returning students excited about the start of school. Another was to oil the mental machinery that had been on vacation since June. And yet another was to provide important back-to-school information.
To achieve multiple goals, Agora leaders envisioned a packet with multiple elements. To generate excitement, they would enclose a balsa wood airplane. To get the mental gears moving, they would enclose a learning activity sheet using the plane to teach the scientific method of inquiry in a fun way. To provide school and coming events information, they would enclose a newsletter that doubles as the 2015-16 school calendar. They named the packet “Summer Soar.”
Hollister Creative’s job was to get this project off the ground and make it fly – quickly. That involved multiple people tackling different tasks simultaneously.
One designer created the Summer Soar logo that would appear on the outside of the envelope and tie the interior pieces together. Another designer worked with a content specialist on the four-page newsletter/calendar, and worked with a curriculum writer on the activity sheets – one teaching elementary-level skills and another teaching at the secondary school level.
Production was the final hurdle. We had to get 8,500 packets printed, assembled and mailed in short order. To save time and ensure continuity, we chose one production company that could do everything: source the balsa plane and get the Agora logo printed on its wings; print the activity sheet, newsletter and envelope; put everything into the envelopes, address them and mail them.
Agora students and families received an intriguing package with an uplifting design. It reinforces the Agora brand promise of a personalized, innovative and intensive academic preparation program in a positive learning environment.
Three Quick Tips
If you are facing the challenge of re-engaging an audience, here is some advice that may help:
- Remind them why they chose you. This is not the time to tell the audience about all of the changes you have made since they last engaged. Reinforce the brand qualities they know and love.
- Be clear about your goals. The decision about what to send should be based on why you are sending it. Ask yourself what you want the recipients to think, feel and do as a result.
- Consider a promotional item. Including some little “thing” can make your outreach more memorable. It will be perceived as a free gift, and appreciated if it is fun or useful – preferably both!