Mailing Takes Aim at Corporate Gifts Market

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GiftCertificates.com will begin a business-to-business direct mail campaign Oct. 19 that will reach 2 million offices through Nov. 30.


The company will send 200,000 to 500,000 pieces every week except during the Thanksgiving holiday. The firm will pitch its SuperCertificates, which can be used for incentive programs and employee gifts.


GiftCertificates.com used more than 70 rented and inhouse lists to compile the database. One leading group of recipients will be human resources directors who have made corporate gifts purchases in the past. Another targeted industry will be healthcare firms.


The mailer will come in two forms: a plain envelope and another that mentions details of the SuperCertificate offer inside. GiftCertificates.com will mail an equal split of both envelopes each week.


"The plain version is typically what we've used in the past and it has performed pretty well for us," said Kathy Merwald, vice president of marketing at the Omaha, NE, firm. "We're testing the call-to-action to see what it could do for future campaigns."


The contents of each envelope are the same.


A six-paragraph letter offers bullet points detailing the program's advantages and subheads using slogans such as "Great to Give ... Fun to Receive."


The letter, signed by Jerry Venner, GiftCertificate.com's vice president of sales, offers a complimentary $25 gift certificate for orders exceeding $250. The letter encourages recipients to place orders at www.giftcertificates.com/holidaygifts or by calling a toll-free number.


Along with the copy are logos from 10 retail, restaurant and hotel partners accepting the certificate, including Old Navy, Nike.com, Crate & Barrel and Marriott.


The back of the letter details delivery options, shipping charges and packaging procedures for the gift certificate orders. Marketing partners Foot Locker, Amazon.com, Red Lobster and Hyatt Regency have logos on the page.


A buck slip and a fold-over, one-page brochure explaining how the program works complete the mail piece.


Businesses entering the program will be able to send company-branded e-mails containing the SuperCertificates. The e-mails can be personalized to thank employees for completing particular projects. A link to redeem the offer with GiftCertificates.com's hundreds of partners appears in the message.


In a more customized service offering, businesses can send e-mail presenting a special offer involving the certificate.


While the company would not divulge production and mailing costs for the effort, GiftCertificates.com plans to spend 50 percent more on BTB marketing compared to last holiday season. It hopes the current campaign generates 10,000 new or repeat customers and at least $12 million in sales. The firm's average BTB order size during the holidays last year was $2,000.


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