Christmas is the season for giving, but here at Wild West a key tactic that we use all year round for relevant campaigns is influencer gifting – otherwise known as creative mailers in the world of food and travel PR. A simple yet impactful way of getting a product into the hands of key influencers, be they journalists, bloggers, Instagrammers or celebs.

As an agency, we have developed more creative mailers than we care to admit (definitely hitting triple figures) so we like to think that we have a good grasp on the elements that can make or break their success.

Here are our top tips on what makes a successful and impactful creative mailer…

Think outside the box

One reason to use a creative mailer is to introduce a brand or company, and for a travel company or hotel there are lots of ways to doing this outside of sending the traditional glossy brochure. When we kicked off the travel PR campaign for The Greenbank Hotel on Falmouth Harbour, we sent bespoke branded boat-in-a-bottle to ten key travel influencers. Printed on the side of the boat was the campaign hashtag #boattobed. Because of the hotel’s waterside positioning, it is extremely popular with the sailing community – so this quirky creative summed up the hotel ethos perfectly.

Using creative mailers in travel PR

Be targeted

It might sound simple, but make sure the creative you are sending is of interest to the recipient. For instance, would a beauty vlogger want to receive a gift relating to a technology product launch? Probably not, unless it was a new tech product that could help with make-up application. When the Eden Project opened The Perfume Garden in the Summer, we sent lavender scented invite cards to 15 leading garden and horticultural journalists – engaging the right audience in an unexpected way, using the power of fragrance to create stand-out.


Using creative mailers in food PR


Who doesn’t like to be made to feel special? An effective way of making your sure the recipient gets a warm glow is by personalising the gift. It not only shows that you’ve done your research, but let’s them know that the gift they have received has been specially made just for them. We previously worked with St Austell Brewery on a #missingCornwall campaign all around Tribute being the taste of Cornwall. There were some very happy food, drink and lifestyle journalists the day they received a personalised bottle of Cornwall’s favourite ale.


You don’t need to spend the earth

Creative mailers don’t need to blow the budget. We work with The Nare to send a bunch of Cornish daffodils to influencer friends of the hotel every year to mark the start of Spring. We’ve been doing this for in excess of five years, and journalists now look forward to receiving their beautiful bloom each Spring.

Using creative mailers in food PR

Keep it social

In this crazy world of social media, things always find a way of making it online. Take advantage of this. Develop a creative mailer that, if shared on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, communicates your brand messaging and engages or inspires the social audience. A Forthglade creative mailer went down a storm on social media – we created a personalised Clean Eating for Dogs pack, which was sent to journalist dog owners, doggie bloggers and celebs. We had social posts off the back of the creative from OK! magazine, Metro, MSN, Psychologies magazine, and even Kate Humble and Gok Wan.

Using creative mailers to generate social media engagement


Hannah Amos - Wild West Comms

Words: Hannah Amos

Senior Account Manager at Wild West Comms