I’m done with Move part two of two (at least for the foreseeable future—but is the future ever foreseeable?!). Along the way I bought a few items, including a mattress and a yoga mat. They each enclosed a note for me…

Notes

Zinus’ envelope tempts you to open it, with a playful inscription on the envelope flap. The first thing you see is a tongue-in-cheek note about who this note is really for (“the responsible one”). The note looks smart and sophisticated, but is silly—it describes the mattress as if it were a creature and has a “Even more official legal stuff” section, in which it compliments your taste (though with a typo). As the header text says, these are instructions about your mattress. (I’d always thought mattresses are fairly self-explanatory, but I guess they are not.)

Notes1

Another note is written on the band holding together a packet of three complimentary greeting cards (Zinus-branded on the back). It’s pretty, it’s clear, and yet, the copy doesn’t immediately resonate with me.

Notes2

How can they “love what I’ve done with the place” when I have half-opened boxes and crumpled bits of packing tape all over the floor?! If you can smell insincerity a mile off, well, this is in arm’s reach. But then Zinus uses a particularly strong bit of copy: “Thank you for putting us under the same roof with the things and people you love most. We don’t take that lightly.” A mattress is a personal thing that goes into a private room; they acknowledge the trust I’ve placed in their hands by choosing them over the countless other mattress brands I did consider.

Anyway, in the second paragraph they want my feedback. Sure, but where do I send it? Am I supposed to use the cards? Are there postage-covered envelopes? Because I don’t think I’ve unpacked my stamps yet. Oh wait, no, the third paragraph says they think I should use them to write some kind words to someone I love.

I can see the marketing goal here (tell your friends about the new mattress, or at least send them something with Zinus branding on the back so they’ll guess what happened). But the suggestions are disjointed. I’m up to my elbows, undressing a mattress from its wrapping, and they’re suggesting that I send them feedback somehow and handwrite a note to someone I love, and then go find my own fitting envelope and a stamp. I do wish I were an octopus. And suddenly they’ve changed voice from “we” to “I,” which rings weirdly in my ear.

Along with the instructions and greeting cards, there is an official mattress certificate. This is an envelope containing many messages, but no clear CTA.

In contrast, CleverYoga’s note is printed on flimsy, glossy paper. It has awkward margins, illogical decorative forms (flowy bands on top, gradient at the bottom with a pattern of circles), and typos. It has several too many exclamation points. It has liberal bolding and italicizing. It doesn’t have the plush, quiet feel of Zinus’ note—at a glance, CleverYoga’s note looks like a salesy note. There is no enticing hook to grab our attention, unlike Zinus’ sly envelope flap “Psst!” Yet, it has a few major points in its favor.

Notes3.jpg

It is written more personally than Zinus’ note. It is written from the perspective of the business owner (uses “I”) and is signed by the owner (Zinus’ note is signed by “the people of Zinus”). CleverYoga gives us a personal email address and phone extension number. I feel confident that I would reach a human being, which is really all that we want when we are grumpy or confused. (That goes in general, I think.) And although it has several possible action points, the actions aren’t disjointed. If you have questions, do this. If you want to engage more, do that. Now, go enjoy your mat; bye. Simple, friendly, and coherent.

Design and writing commentary aside, I’m very pleased with both items—being horizontal has never been better. The CleverYoga mat has great texture, thickness, and grip—and is a fraction of the price of mats from trendier brands like Manduka, Lululemon, or Prana. The Zinus mattress brings new meaning to “lazy morning” and is a fraction of the price of mattresses from other major mattress makers, like Casper (which I’ve written about before).

May you have many horizontal moments in comfort and peace. I’m off to tackle more vertical things, like shelving books and hanging wall art.