Goodwill Industries Builds Store Traffic With Direct Mail Campaign

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Goodwill Industries of upper South Carolina increased in-store sales by 8 percent this month with its first territorywide direct mail campaign.

At the end of November, Melinda Muxlow, public relations and advertising director at Goodwill Industries, worked with a local printing company to create a trifold, self-mailing, four-color piece that was sent to 22,221 preferred customers.

The piece contained a letter, a calendar for December with several specials posted for each day, a list of Goodwill stores and donation sites in Muxlow's territory and four coupons, one for each week.

"The goal was to get people in at least once each week," Muxlow said.

"Most Goodwill organizations have retail stores that sell donated goods, and the money generated by the stores helps support employment training programs," Muxlow said. "These people I know shop at my stores because they have a membership card which gives them special discounts. I wanted to reward them for shopping all year."

Seventy percent of her sales are in clothing; the rest are in hard goods -- furniture, stereos and small appliances, for example.

The first coupon was for $5 off any purchase of $15 or more; the second for $10 off any stereo, TV or computer purchase of $50 or more; the third for 50 percent off one furniture item of $50 or more; and the fourth for $10 off any purchase of $25 or more of hanging clothing.

Muxlow this month reported a 3 percent return on the first coupon.

The upper South Carolina territory has a 100-mile radius and includes 18 stores in 14 counties. The nonprofit funds employment for disadvantaged and disabled people.

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