WhitePages.com, the well-known online directory, has set a goal to “make it simple for everyone to connect with confidence.” So when WhitePages.com decided to add a unique way for their online customers to connect with local neighbors using direct mail, they turned to Click2Mail.com to create an easy-to-use online solution that leverages Click2Mail’s REST API. Now, anyone can go to WhitePages.com to create up to 100 Block Party postcards and have them mailed via First-Class Mail® — totally free! Visit WhitePages.com to experience it first hand.
Every marketer could use a little inspiration now and then. Get yours in our Brag Room, a gallery of some of today's most creative mailers, and our Talking Heads section, a collection of smart solutions from small business marketers.
Welcome to the Neighborhood!
OASIS® Grower Solutions — a leader in plant propagation media — wanted to launch WEDGE® Plus to the poinsettia grower market, so they turned to the Communications Factory for help. Since WEDGE Plus advances poinsettia propagation five days faster, our campaign looked at historical firsts. But rather than focus on the overachievers, we focused on the “also-rans” who could have gotten a five-day jump — but whose poor decisions caused them to finish with the pack, not ahead of it. Our integrated campaign included print/online ads, a microsite (www.wedgeplus.com), literature, dimensional and traditional mail, and tradeshow support, all of which created a buzz that’s made even the most finicky growers take notice.
Cathedral Corporation developed a multichannel communications campaign for the Diocese of Erie with the goal of reinvigorating lapsed donors using a series of three postcards to drive them to personalized URLs to reconnect, followed by a direct mail solicitation. The postcards themselves did not directly solicit the lapsed donors but focused on the question “What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?” with a series of answers available through the recipient’s personalized URL. The Diocese of Erie is the first diocese in the United States to use a PURL program to reach out to lapsed donors, and its success represents a 100-percent increase over previous efforts. Given the attrition of donors in the past decades, when other campaigns to target lapsed donors have achieved success rates in the 0.05-percent to 2-percent range, the campaign may serve as a model for future outreach programs.
If Everything Was This Easy
This direct mail piece introduced to the laboratory segment a new product that featured unparalleled ease of use and trademarked One Click functionality. The campaign, a follow-on to a previous product launch, used subtle humor to create awareness. Titled “One Click Wonders,” the mailer was sent in a silver glamour envelope with the cover phrase “What if everything was this easy?” Playful illustrations demonstrated life’s daily tasks performed with One Click functionality — filling your gas tank, feeding your dog, building your body and, of course, performing complex lab tests — and created instant buzz and product awareness.
No More Buzz
Polycom invented technology that stifled the “buzz” that results from radio waves interfering with speakers in its conference phones. Polycom needed to generate awareness of this technology and encourage prospects to upgrade. We embedded a light-sensitive sound chip in a box. When prospects opened it, the buzz blasted them. A second-tier audience received a version of the DM without the chip. We drove them to a microsite featuring the buzz, a video and content about anti-buzz technology.
Accept the Invitation
We invited people to experience exactly what we do … literally. Our recipients received a hotel key card and a napkin from our faux hotel, Crescent Bluffs. On the napkin we scrawled “Let’s meet.
www.AcceptTheInvitation.com/FirstName”. Lots of people did, resulting in double-digit response rates and loads of interest. Visit www.AcceptTheInvitation.com/Deliver to experience it firsthand.
“Need a Lift?”
MLT Creative launched a campaign to attract, engage and convert new clients. Eight interactive mailers were sent to marketing directors to demonstrate our capabilities. The “Need a Lift?” theme alluded to our belief that, in this economy, marketers need optimism, perseverance and a plan more than ever. From paper airplanes to seltzer rockets, each mailing included something fun and engaging. We also invited recipients to view our response rates at a microsite called “The Idea Launch Lab.”
Getting Personal with Brides
Savvi Formalwear, a marketing cooperative of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with bridal prospects while maintaining the members’ branding and regional flair. The solution: SavviOne, which delivers uniquely branded direct mail, e-mail and personalized landing pages. Among the key elements are image personalization, variable coupon offers and store locator maps. A keepsake-grade mailer builds brand affinity — and drives brides to a Savvi Formalwear store or Web site.
More than Meets the Eye
To promote its new Medical Micro Molding Capability to a targeted audience of tradeshow attendees, SMC Ltd. used a “More than Meets the Eye” approach. To demonstrate how small it can mold parts, SMC printed its mailer in tiny type and enclosed a magnifier so that recipients could read it and get the good-things-in-a-small package idea.
Retail Experience Network
Weyerhaeuser’s Retail Experience Network integrates retail knowledge and turnkey solutions with nationwide printing and packaging expertise to meet customers’ in-store marketing needs. Weyerhaeuser had never implemented a direct marketing strategy in their B-to-B efforts to drive demand for their offering. Our objective was to introduce the Retail Experience Network to key decision makers within the target audience, educate the market on the end-to-end solutions, and generate demand for services. Our strategic approach involved a solution that would grab attention, then educate and engage with a strong offer. We succeeded. The campaign generated a 17-percent lead rate. Company: Weyerhauser, Agency: Catalyst Direct
Robert J. Lembach
Seeking to attract new patients, Dr. Lembach reached out to PostcardMania. The company suggested a mailing list of couples and individuals, ages 28 to 55, with incomes at or over the $50,000 mark. After a five-month blitz of 3,000 monthly postcard mailings, a payoff stream began late last year. “We’re getting 20 new patients a month from the mailings,” says Lembach.
A 550-acre farm was the big-ticket item early this year, and Sheridan’s job was attracting possible buyers. About 14,000 poster-size flyers were mailed, drawing 260 bidders from as far away as Texas and Florida. The auction’s gross take was just short of $2 million, says Rouse. “We are convinced that direct mail is one of the best ways to reach potential bidders,” she adds.
As a local marketing company for the international “Real Men Cook” Father’s Day Celebration, 1016 Media sought to increase preregistration in 2012, hoping to deliver early returns for sponsors. Targeting caterers, chefs and nonprofits, Allen this spring mailed 1,500 postcards with photos depicting food and fun: “We got 50 calls within a week. More than 20 caterers called to request information.”
As part of its quarterly mailings, nonprofit social activist group Equal Justice sent 3,000 customized holiday cards to supporters at the end of 2011. The appeal doubled the anticipated funding. Says Silberstein: “We wouldn’t survive without donations we get through the mail; it’s also an important way that we send personalized, handwritten notes, photographs or stickers that help get the message out.”
Plum Creek wanted to increase its monthly tally of new patients while boosting its appointments with patients of record. A custom-designed mailing brought fast results for the mid-2011 campaign. “We saw 15 reactivations and 50 new customers just three months in,” says Berg. “If conversion rates stay the same, we’ll be looking at 30 reactivations and 100 new customers in six months.”
Braden R. McCurdy
With roughly 3,000 pieces mailed weekly to “opt-in” list members, it’s not unusual for this family-owned real-estate broker to find postcards of the homes they sell tagged onto potential clients’ refrigerators or bulletin boards. A recent public sale found several potential buyers carrying cards they’d received to the event. Says McCurdy, “This method has proven consistent and effective for many years.”
After adding mail to its toolkit last fall, marketing firm Obun now counts insurance companies, credit unions and healthcare providers as satisfied clients. One company is so pleased that it plans to expand its use of personalized postcards. “Hawaii is unique – eight islands separated by hundreds of miles in the Pacific,” says Pancho. “So for us, direct mail fulfillment is the way to go.”
Sometimes going the extra mile is what creates quality mail pieces – like when Imholte and his son, a graphic designer, flew a “puddle-jumper” over a Minnesota hobby farm to get aerial photos. “We had to tilt the plane because the wing was in the way,” Imholte recalls. About 150 of the bidders who turned out had received brochures with the pictures. The hobby farm has a new owner: “You bet it sold,” says Imholte.
Hoping to capitalize on customers’ need for relief from summer 2011 heat, Four Seasons felt that a campaign was in order. “We bought a mailing list of households with pools located in our area, then we hit that list with three mailings of 2,000 cards from March to June,” says Morgan. “From that, we were able to generate $5,000 in additional revenue.”
To support the pending online auction of a luxury log cabin in fall 2011, George designed an oversized brochure with a professional photograph of the home, listing the bid date. The mailing, which was distributed to 2,800 recipients whom the auctioneer had targeted with demographic criteria, led 90 prospective buyers to visit the property before the auction. Says George: “The sellers were convinced that the market value of the property would be achieved because of results from the marketing.”
Share Your Story
About to break your arm patting yourself on the back for that great mail marketing campaign? Let us help! (Pat your back, that is.) Submit your top direct mail pieces to our “Brag Room,” a gallery of some of the smartest and most creative recent mail communications.
- Step 1: Create one or two .jpg images of your piece (800 pixels or less in width) and resize them so the file size does not exceed 220k for each.
- Step 2: Download and electronically sign the PDF release form(s).
- Step 3: Attach the .jpg image(s) and signed PDF release form(s) to an e-mail, and provide a brief explanation (up to 100 words) of the images and related campaign in the text field. Put “Brag Room” in the subject line and send it to email@example.com.
Some of the best marketing ideas are “so crazy, they just might work.” We want to know what jaw-dropping ingenuity your small business is bringing to the table. Share your most effective small business marketing solutions involving direct mail.
- Step 1: Find or take a headshot of yourself that does not exceed 800 pixels in width and save it as a .jpg file.
- Step 2: Download and electronically sign the PDF release form(s).
- Step 3: Attach the .jpg image and signed PDF release form(s) to an e-mail, and provide a brief explanation (less than 100 words) of your small business success story in the text field. Put “Talking Heads” in the subject line and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.