Donald Russell

A brilliant insert design that sold from Donald Russell

This is an insert from Donald Russell which was in a Laithwaite’s wine delivery. I loved it and have held onto it for several years. It was created by my good friend Ian Morrison after an enormous number of tests.

Inserts don’t really have a front and a back as you do not know which way round the leaflet will be when it is looked at so it is important to make sure all of the critical information is on both sides.

Having said here is the front and the back of the insert:

If we start by looking at the copywriting there is a clear hierarchy of messages. “Quality and value” is repeated throughout. This is the key message for the customer.

There are lot of references to “you” and “your”. Just as in normal conversation talking about “you” is interesting, talking about me is boring. Many advertisers make the mistake of taking too much about themselves.

One of the things I look for on a piece of direct response marketing is the number of times the word “free” is used. In this case there is a very healthy free count of five.

It is also a relatively copy heavy piece with 75 words on the front and 150 words on the back. More copy usually beats less copy when tested.

The mention of “Aberdeenshire” is called provenance in food and drink marketing which is very important. “Cut by hand” sounds artisan rather than manufactured.

Trust is vital and we can see five methods being used to increase trust:

  • The distribution partner Laithwaite’s is included which is an implicit recommendation.
  • The Royal Warrant is one of the best trust marks you can get in the UK and has weight beyond too. Product related awards or TrustPilot ratings are good too.
  • The expert endorsement from Nigella Lawson carries even more weight than the Queen! An expert endorsement is better than a celebrity endorsement, particularly in the UK where people are more cynical. A press quote could serve the same purpose.
  • A prominent guarantee is good “Your Money Back if You’ve Ever Tasted Better” combines trust with the primary message of quality.
  • Finally having the full street address in the footer adds trust even when ordering online.

The design is based on a landscape A5 format which gives plenty of space and is also cheap to print.

Red on white and black on white are the highest contrast color combinations which are very easy to read. The header on the back is reversed out and will be a bit harder to read which is my sole criticism of the piece.

The photography concentrates on the product and clearly shows all of the products in the offer along with a nice lifestyled photo of the cooked steak.

There’s very clear typography with very readable fonts and no BLOCK CAPITALS WHICH REDUCE READING.

We have some red violators used for “Save Over 50%” and free gifts while the logo and brand are de-emphasised.

Finally we come to the offer. A total value of £62 offered for just £29 is an incredible deal (I would buy myself if it was still running!) and £29 is a low enough price point to encourage trial. Free delivery always increases response, particularly in the UK where it is expected.

The free Meat Perfection cooking guide is a nice gift and also reinforces that main quality message yet again.

I still think this is the best insert I have ever seen and it played a big part in taking their direct to consumer revenue from zero to £25 million.

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