BTB Campaign Turns Time Into Money

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A marketing campaign that cost more than $150,000 to create and execute has brought in more than $20 million in new business for EPIX, a provider of employee management services.

"In terms of what we normally see in response rates and revenue generation, this is without a doubt the most successful campaign we have done," said David Slook, director of marketing at EPIX.

The total business generated by the campaign likely will reach $40 million, Slook said, since it can take up to a year to close sales.

EPIX provides payroll and benefits administration, risk management, human resources consulting and other services to businesses of all sizes, but its target for the campaign was small and midsize firms.

From February to June EPIX, Tampa, FL, distributed 200,000 pieces through direct mail, 50,000 by sales representatives and another 50,000 distributed via inserts in business magazines. The mailings and pieces distributed by the sales reps targeted the owners of the businesses.

The main objective of the campaign was to deliver strong leads to the sales department while helping to create brand awareness among prospects, Slook said. The campaign has generated a 0.8 percent response rate, which he said is triple the response rate the company sees on most campaigns.

The mail piece was a self-mailer that provided little information about EPIX. Instead it focused on a contest in which the recipient could win a $1,500 Movado Valor watch after going to and entering a password included in the mailer. The watch pushed the campaign theme of "time is money," showing prospective customers that EPIX's services can save them time and money.

"Because of the Web, we don't have to give people a toll-free number or a BRC, which most people don't like doing anyway," Slook said. "We can drive them to our site with an offer and then provide them with as much literature about our company as we want."

This was the first time EPIX has given away a prize as part of a marketing campaign. Slook thinks the offer contributed to the higher response rate without lessening the quality of leads.

"People were given the option of just entering the contest or entering the contest and going on to receive and view more information about us," Slook said. "More than half of the people who entered the contest wanted more information on EPIX."

Of the 2,220 respondents so far, Slook said that 1,600 responded to the direct mail piece. Twenty-five percent of the 1,600 have turned out to be strong leads.

Taking what it learned from this campaign, Slook said EPIX will launch another campaign next month using the same format, but changing the theme from "time is money" to a sports theme.

The piece was developed by EPIX along with the help of Hollyrock Miller, Princeton, NJ.

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