EXstatic Ends Campaign Targeting Medium, Large Dot-Coms

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EXstatic Software, Seattle, today wrapped up its first major direct mail effort when it put the last of some 14,000 pieces in the mail targeting medium-size to large dot-com companies and what it called bricks-and-mortar companies with a "strong online presence."

The business-to-business campaign, which cost tens of thousands of dollars to run, marks the first major marketing effort for the e-marketing solutions provider's new product, Xchange Dialogue Free Messaging. The 3-year-old company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Exchange Applications, Boston.

Susan O'Neill, vice president of marketing at eXstatic, said the campaign, which was conducted in two waves with the first going out two weeks ago, will serve as a test to help design a more targeted and efficient campaign to take place next month. It is using three different pieces and mailing to five different lists, one in-house and four rented, to help build a foundation for next month's campaign.

"We are not testing content with this first campaign, so each of the three pieces is going to be pushing the same message," O'Neill said. "This is more of a test of the lists and the formats of the pieces in order to see which group responds more to which particular piece."

The three pieces are all designed to drive people to the Web site to get more information or to register for a consultation meeting or phone call from a sales representative. They can also do so by faxing back the business reply form or calling a toll-free number. There is no option provided about where visitors can purchase the product directly from the piece.

According to O'Neill, the campaign may be a BTB campaign, but it is targeting business-to-consumer companies. She said it also is going after small to medium-size online companies with more than $3 million in revenue.

Each piece discusses the problems of reaching typical consumers who hang up on telemarketers, throw away direct mail and tune out commercials and offers the alternative of reaching them by personalized e-mails. They then go on to discuss the services and capabilities that eXstatic can provide them.

One piece is a self-mailer, four-page foldout; the other is in a postcard format, and the third is in letter form. Each piece includes an incentive offer of providing the first 200,000 e-mails for free if they to go to the Web site and register. O'Neill said the offer carries a value of about $10,000.

The primary targets of this campaign are going to be the vice presidents of marketing and directors of online services within these companies. The secondary targets will be the chief information officers as well as presidents and CEOs.

The goal for eXstatic is to get prospects to register, then have a sales representative contact them within an hour. Once they register, the department taking their information will contact the sales representatives with an e-mail containing their information. The sales representative will then call them "as soon as possible."

"We want to capture them while the piece and everything they read is still fresh in their minds," O'Neill said.

EXstatic is going to allow for a three- to four-week measurement period during which it will analyze the results for use in developing next month's campaign.

The piece was designed partly in-house and with the help of the Culligan Group advertising agency, Seattle.

New customers who register at the site will be added to the eXstatic database only if they give permission.

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