4imprint, LLC

3 min read

Lasting Impressions

One company’s smart solution for showing value

Posted: July 12, 2022 | Joshua Grover-David Patterson 3 min read

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. This classic maxim holds true for organizations as well.

When you’re trying to show the value your organization offers, your customers can’t read all about it if they never open the envelope.

But, AMI Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc. (AMI) in Youngstown, Ohio, refused to become a statistic—or an unopened piece of mail. In fact, they figured out a way to ensure the work they do every year clicks with clients.

Piquing clients’ curiosity

AMI Benefit Plan Administrators Inc.’s value is baked right into its business model.

Working in the 401k arena, the organization provides high-touch retirement plan services to a variety of small businesses. Because the organization interacts directly with the employees in these organizations, organizational leaders may be unaware how many staff members use AMI’s services.

That realization led the organization to ask a key question: How can we demonstrate value? It starts with a simple report.

Every year, AMI sends out a personalized annual write-up to every business. In it, they detail how many staff members are using its services and in what ways.

“Many business owners will find something they didn’t expect,” said Pam Shoup, president. “Like, ‘I didn’t realize eight out of my ten staff members were calling to use or change their services.’”

Sending the report was a first step. But AMI wanted to take it one step further—to know whether clients were opening the envelope to peruse the data.

Person placing manila envelope in P.O. box

Making an impression (with a branded gift)

AMI decided to add a bit of intrigue to its annual mailing by including a mailable branded gift in the form of a mouse pad.

The organization went a step further in its branding efforts, offering different designs and logos based on the plan being used by its customers. Each pad fits into the standard 9″ x 12″ envelope used to mail the report.

The mouse pad gave the envelope extra weight and shape and prompted customers to open the envelope just to see what was inside. The addition created the desired effect.

“This year, the number of follow-up interactions from clients increased substantially,” Shoup said.

“We could tell that the gift was doing exactly what we had hoped it would do.”

Although the mouse pad mystery was a success, AMI wanted more.

Building long-term brand recognition

For AMI, the benefits of the branded gift went well beyond showing the value of its program. The group wanted to offer a thank-you gift that would be around long term.

Red branded mouse pad

Soft Mouse Pad

“A pen will eventually run out of ink, but not a lot of people are buying a mouse pad,” Shoup said. “So many people today just set their mouse on their desk. But if you get a mouse pad, you’re going to use it—it’s on your desk and it keeps our information close at hand.”

A valuable mystery, solved

AMI Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc.’s story is a great example of how to demonstrate value again and again. From that one gift, the organization was able to build interest, show value and ensure its name remains close at hand.

Looking for more information about this topic? Email [email protected] with inquiries.