Call Center Enters New Dimension With Mailers

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A three-stage dimensional mail campaign for market research call center CSi Complete has netted nine clients since its launch in February.


The business-to-business campaign was dimensional because it featured ordinary objects -- a sport water bottle, a bank pouch and a mini-trash can -- rather than flat printed pieces. Nevertheless, the whole campaign, conducted over about three weeks in February, cost only "a couple thousand dollars," said John Webb, vice president of marketing for CSi Complete, Plain City, OH.


Creative agency Positive Response, Dublin, OH, and its president, Ernest Nicastro, designed the mailers, sent to 300 BTB prospects. CSi Complete, whose sales cycle can last months, expects five to 10 more sales by August when it will consider the campaign finished.


CSi Complete is a 55-seat call center serving auto collision repair and insurance businesses. It conducts follow-up calling to customers of its clients, measuring their satisfaction and data for other uses such as incentive programs, employee coaching and training and tracking behavioral changes.


The mailers dropped about a week apart. The first was a 32-ounce water bottle containing a letter. The mailer bore CSi Complete's logo and contact information with the headline, "Thirsty for more repair orders? Get ready to drink up!"


The second stage was a bank pouch imprinted with the words "PUT MORE MONEY IN THE BANK." It arrived in a 9-by-12-inch full window envelope with the imprinted side of the pouch facing the window. The pouch contained a letter, this time with the headline, "How to write more repair orders while lowering your overhead and improving workplace performance. And you can take that to the bank!"


The third and final piece was a metal mini-trash can. Mailed in a box, the can contained a wadded-up letter with the headline, "Can-do? Yes!" and included copy that read, "In case you've been throwing my letters into the trash, I wanted to do it for you this time."


CSi Complete previously had done limited promotional mailing, Webb said. Its DM activities had included postcards sent in advance of trade shows in which CSi Complete would be exhibiting.


Webb said he decided to try a more complex mail campaign when he got mailers from Positive Response offering its creative services. One piece Webb received was a water bottle.


"It worked on me," he said. "I figured it might work on somebody else. They are creative and impossible to ignore."


Immediately after each piece, CSi Complete conducted outbound calling to arrange teleconferences with prospects. CSi Complete agents conducted all calling on the campaign in-house. CSi Complete administrative staff also fulfilled the mail campaign themselves, further reducing costs.


The telemarketing follow-up featured two offers. One was for an engraved World Time Clock Calculator for those who agreed to a teleconference while the other was for 13 months of service for the price of 12 to those who signed up for the service by March 31.


CSi Complete was able to contact 270 of the 300 prospects it mailed. Of those, about 120 remain in the sales pipeline as potential customers, Webb said.


CSi Complete customers generally are long term, so each new customer win is significant, he said. Billing varies by call volume, but customers generally pay about $2,200 a year for CSi Complete's market research service.


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