Snail mail and the mystery box

Snail mail and the mystery box
Snail mail and the mystery box
  • Cody Hobbs
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One of my favorite lectures on hooking an audience is from a ted talk given by J.J. Abrams called “Mystery Box”.  In it, he talks about our love of little mysteries, and how we can use them to captivate our audience.

I’ve written a lot in the past year about gamification, and increasing member engagement, and a new phenomenon called “mail order mystery” might be the next key link in the chain.  Mail order mysteries sends members little who-dun-it type mysteries by mail, and encourages members to work together to find the solution.

We talk a lot about the “digital age”, but utilizing older methods, like sending physical correspondence can be a great way to generate some attention, especially since it is currently so under-utilized.  When you have something physical in your hand, it’s harder to ignore than a simple e-mail in your inbox.

There’s also the “gamified” aspect — you’re sending out more than just a simple newsletter, this is something that people have to get involved with, and should be encouraged to work in a collaborative nature.  You should theme the mysteries around your what your association does, of course.

This might seem like a silly idea at first, but this is something that will help your association compete against the myriad distractions constantly bombarding its members, and provide a fun way to keep members involved and thinking about it.

So what do you think?  What kind of mail order mysteries would fit your association?