Can a Notebook Inspire Your Customers?

A direct mail piece that was sent by Intuit to a QuickBooks customer includes a notebook. How can you position a notebook to inspire our customers?

There’s nothing like the feel and look of a brand-new notebook.

I’ve gone to a bunch of conferences in the last few years, and at almost every one, attendees received a brand-new notepad or notebook of some kind.

Some of them were your basic legal pad with lined paper. Two were spiral-bound. And my favorite is more is a vinyl portfolio which has a USB flash drive strap. It’s no Trapper-Keeper, but then again, what is?

I loved them all. And I used them all. Workshops, keynotes, panels … I took notes everywhere.

It’s not like I haven’t tried anything else. But I fumbled a few times trying to use Evernote and other apps.

Putting ink on paper works very well for me. My recall of facts and key points is better, and that’s even with my awful, barely recognizable longhand scrawl. I’m not the only one; some studies back up this observation.

direct mailWhat prompted this post was a clever direct mail piece that was mailed by Intuit to a QuickBooks customer. The outer is plain enough, just a logo and a brief teaser: “A GIFT FOR YOU.”

But inside, Intuit includes, you guessed it – a notebook.

The letter accompanying the “Dare To Dream” notebook thanks the small business for being a customer. It presents it as a way to “celebrate your milestones.”

“It’s good to have a single place for all your most out-there dreaming and down-to-earth planning,” it says. To make those dreams and plans a reality, it continues, they can leverage your QuickBooks data to examine some financing options.

Dissolve , a Calgary-based stock photography and video company, used a similar approach in some of it mail. Sure, the notebooks are tiny compared to Intuit’s, and the pages are blank, not lined. But the intent is the same: providing a platform for the customer’s creativity.

“Plan your shots. List your props … Do the math” one of the books says. And then, it presumes, you’ll be ready to talk with Dissolve.

Think about ways to use a notebook to help your customers to think and dream big, aspire to greatness, solve a problem, and along the way, promote yourself as a solution and a partner.

Inspiration can be found on those pages, even if your handwriting skills aren’t the best.

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