Do old-school marketing tactics such as “snail” mail still work? You betcha, according to research gathered by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) from an online member survey this past spring. Yielding average responses from 34 of every 1,000 pieces distributed, direct mail is nearly 30...
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Lah! Unexpected Restaurant in Spain wanted to attract urban, well-heeled 30- to 45-year-olds to its Southeast Asian cuisine. In a market overflowing with Asian restaurants, it created a concept and campaign that invited guests to satisfy their curiosity as well as their appetite. Every piece sent had a connection to an Asian custom. Instead of coupons, the initial mailing included spices to be used as currency. It also sent another mailing with flower seeds to plant. Physical mailings and emails were often complemented by a website. Every month, sales increased by double digits, rising an astounding 49 percent.
Paul Hartmann broke through social taboos to promote its incontinence products in Germany. The campaign was aimed to reach medical editors and journalists with a simple mailing. Instead of a large press kit, the company sent a leaky fountain pen asserting that “incontinence can happen to anyone.” The visual appeal of the pen, and the obvious link to journalists and editors, caught recipients’ attention. The mailing generated a response rate of 22 percent, with 14 percent agreeing to a consultation and 6 percent agreeing to include the topic of incontinence in their publications.
Birla Sun Life Insurance hoped to increase sales of life insurance policies in India, where only 15 percent of the population is insured. A campaign targeted young married couples with a mailing that looked like a typical wedding invitation. Once opened, the invitation played the familiar Vedic Saptapadi mantras that recipients would remember from their own wedding. As they read through each of the seven traditional vows in the mailing, they were reminded of the promises made to their partner. The goal was to remind recipients of their responsibility to protect their loved one. The mailing generated a response rate of 14 percent and a conversion rate of 8.6 percent.
Solutors of Denmark wanted to increase sales of its SMART Boards among secondary schools. To promote the electronic chalkboard system, it used a customized direct mail campaign that reminded principals that students coming from primary schools expect to see SMART Boards. The mailing showed a student browsing the school’s site and led to a website where principals could log on to see SMART Board usage at local primary schools. Since losing disappointed students also meant losing state funding, Solutor pointed out that a SMART Board could retain students and pay for itself. The campaign resulted in a return 29 times the cost of investment.
Ikano Bank of Finland hoped to prompt passive credit card holders to begin using their cards again. The bank realized the key was to educate cardholders that their cards were valid at multiple retailers, not just at the store for which they were initially issued. A colorful direct mail letter was really a poster that caught recipients’ attention with the message that their card was worth more each month, thanks to bonus discounts at a retail partner. A website allowed consumers to sign up for the bonus and reminder emails kept interest up. The banks credit card transactions rose 13 percent in the first month.
Tryg needed to reach parents who needed to ensure their children, given a new law that meant many school children were no longer covered for accidents at school. The firm played the role of helper, spreading the word that many school children were no longer insured and thus not safe. A campaign sent direct mail and email to customers with other types of policies, and used online banners, Facebook ads, adwords, advertorials, and more to reach other prospects. All were directed to the campaign microsite where it was easy to get quotes and other information. Sales rose to 120 percent of sales the previous year.
Elou demonstrated more bronze creativity, this time in the business-to- business space:
The CRM/direct marketing agency wanted to increase the number of invitations to bids it received from potential clients, and it used a dimensional mailing to carry out the task. A mailing played on how hard the company fights for its clients, enclosing boxing gloves and a championship belt. Three days later, a representative followed up with a call. The185 boxes delivered were a real knockout, landing 51 meetings that resulted in 11 invitations to bid and two new clients. The campaign’s total ROI based on estimated earnings was 5.14 percent.