ANSYS Aims to Clean Data, Generate Leads With Mailing

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ANSYS initiated a direct mail campaign just before Christmas in an effort to clean up a file consisting of 10,000 names that it accumulated from trade shows and resellers.

"Aside from the data clean up, the other goal of this campaign is to hopefully generate some leads from people we haven't contacted in a while," said Dave Sonnet, manager of marketing operations and analysis at ANSYS. "Some of the names are very current and some date back about two-and-a-half years."

Sonnet said that those being targeted held various positions at companies of different sizes.

Recipients who do not respond will likely not be contacted again. Since some of the names on the database are old, Sonnet expects many of the mailings to go to addresses where the company is no longer located, or that are no longer valid. But the likelihood of a "big kickback" of mailings did not compel ANSYS to take any shortcuts on spending for the campaign, which cost more than $5,000.

"We believe that the names we have in this particular file are still quality names and good leads, so that didn't keep us from doing anything monetarily," said Sonnet, who added that it was too early to discuss results. "And since this is also being used as a lead-generation campaign, we felt it was worthwhile to put the amount of money that we did into it."

ANSYS, Canonsburg, PA, selected a design that it has not used before. Most of the direct mail campaigns ANSYS has conducted have used postcard mailers. This time it went with a trifold piece.

"Normally we see about a 5 percent response rate to all of our campaigns, which is good," Sonnet said. "This time we decided to see if something else would work as well or maybe better."

ANSYS is promoting the newest version of its software product, DesignSpace. "We want to refresh people's minds about the software," Sonnet said. "The three bullet points we want to get across is that the new features will help you reduce cost and time and increase quality."

The front of the piece attempts to convey that message by using an image of a Palm Pilot with a "to do" list displayed on its screen. Among the things on the list are meeting with the CEO and going home early. An offer for a free 30-day trial also appears on the cover.

The inside of the piece contains text regarding the new features of DesignSpace. By registering for the free trial, respondents are automatically entered into a drawing for a Palm Pilot.

ANSYS provided only two call-to-action devices in the piece, a business reply card and a Web site.

"In the past we have found that no one really uses a toll-free number and it's not worth providing one anymore," Sonnet said.

According to Dan Parrish, senior account manager at CommuniTech, McMurray, PA, the hi-tech marketing firm that created the campaign, the BRC was included for those who do not have Web access.

"I know it sounds weird, but there are still some people that don't have Internet access and we want to give them a way to register," Parrish said.

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