MicroMass' Personalized Appeal Boosts Product Loyalty

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MicroMass Communications Inc. has achieved a response rate of 28 percent in its 33-month-old personalized direct mail campaign aimed at increasing loyalty among users of a chronic disease product for a large pharmaceutical company.

The response rate is based on the consumers who filled out a questionnaire in which they provided information regarding their related difficulties.

The company has marketed to 60,000 users of the drug since April 1998 in an ongoing campaign. MicroMass estimated that the campaign costs an average of $10 per consumer marketed. The company's research has revealed that compliance - the measure of how frequently consumers use their prescriptions - has increased an average of 328 percent among those targeted in the campaign. Among users whose compliance was poor, the rate has increased nearly 600 percent.

MicroMass, Cary, NC, sends the mailers only to current adult users of the product who have specifically requested information about the product.

MicroMass starts with a minimum amount of data regarding the product's users - name, age, address and gender - and offers to provide them with information about the drug in exchange for detailed information about themselves.

The targeted users receive an 11-inch-by-9-1/2-inch white envelope that includes an invitation to join the company's relationship marketing program. Recipients also are asked to fill out a questionnaire.

Those consumers receive follow-up mailers once a month for the next three months. MicroMass uses the questionnaire data to ensure that each targeted individual receives follow-up mailers tailored to the information they provided in the questionnaire. MicroMass can change the pull quotes contained within the text of the mailers to emphasize different points based on the individual's responses. The personalization system is entirely automated.

The first mailer is personalized only in that MicroMass refers to the consumer by name in the text of the brochure that comes with the questionnaire. The company learns the extent of consumers' medical problems and the difficulties their condition has caused.

This information is used in the follow-up mailers. One of these is sent in a 9-inch-by-7-1/2-inch envelope and contains a booklet that demonstrates what the company knows about the individual. The book tells consumers what type of area they live in, whether they have allergies, whether they own pets and whether they have ever smoked.

MicroMass wants to use every piece of data provided in the questionnaire to let consumers know it is listening to them and that the information they provide will not go to waste.

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