While I worked at Capital One Finance’s corporate headquaters in Richmond, VA, I served as lead copywriter on a very important direct mail project. Capital One was reissuing cards to their customers– swapping standard credit cards for EMV chip cards (like the EU has had for years) to remain in compliance with U.S. laws. As with any large company, and particularly true of corporations and the finance industry, copywriting and communication goals for the project were considerably more complicated.
Copywriting for Multiple Direct Mail Objectives
For what seems like a simple copywriting and print design project, this direct mail piece had a number of hurdles that needed to be cleared.
- The enclosed card is real and not a sample
- The card is redesigned
- Activate and start using right away
- The chip provides added security
- Zero fraud liability if lost or stolen
There were also a number of variables that changed depending on the type of account the individual had. All in all, there were four mailing groups– each with its own set of prioritized messages. To make matters more difficult, there was very little space for messaging. The required disclosure text and the blank space reserved for the physical card ate up a lot of room and made the layout itself very tight. Working directly with an art director, I was able to craft messaging that fit this narrow space and effectively communicate the designated messages. Doing this while keeping sticking to the brand guidelines proved to be a bit more of a challenge than the average copywriting assignment, even though most copywriting tasks require an attention to the physical space and visual presentation of the words on the page (as well as an awareness of juxtaposed visuals, if they exist).
This mailer was sent out to tens of millions of Capital One credit card customers.
About Capital One
- Established: 1994
- Number of Associates: 45,0001
- Total Assets: $313.7 billion1
- Total Deposits: $212.9 billion2
- Total Revenues FY 2013: $22.4 billion2
- Fortune 500: 124
- Number of customer accounts: 65 million1
- 8th Largest U.S. Bank: By deposits1
- 4th Largest Credit Card Issuer1
- 4th Largest Independent Auto Loan
- Originator in the U.S.1
- Largest U.S. Direct Bank1