No-Frills Mailing Gets Results for Virtual Conference Site

Share this content:
Responses are running at 5.6 percent for a 120,000-piece direct mail campaign that dropped April 20 to promote its virtual trade show service, which debuted in January.

The campaign targets CEOs, chief information officers and vice presidents of sales and marketing at Fortune 500 companies in the hi-tech, financial services and healthcare industries.

"With more than 500 conferences taking place each year, it is impossible for marketing professionals to attend and get the most out of each of them," said Kimberly Wuepper, executive producer at, an affiliate site of Babcock & Jenkins, Portland, OR. "With this service they can get access to the topics and issues that are most relevant to them right from their computers."

The piece was designed to be as plain as possible to stand out from all the clutter and to give it a feeling of intrigue to generate response, Wuepper said.

"Senior-level marketing professionals probably receive more direct mail than anyone in the country," she said. "We needed to stick out from the rest of it and felt the best way to generate a response was to make people curious."

Each piece consisted of an 8.5-inch-by-11-inch sheet of white paper folded in three. The 10-point type took up only the center part of the middle fold. Each letter was personalized and read, "No more conference hotel rooms. No cheap cocktails. No limp shrimp. Found a better way -- you've got to see it. Best source of marketing information." It then directs people to visit and provides a personal identification number for access.

The cost was $1.09 per piece, including postage.

The goal behind the language of the letter was not to pitch the service as a product but to let the audience know there is an alternative to the frustrations of traveling and attending conferences, Wuepper said.

"The idea was to come at these people with a message they could very easily relate to," she said. "We don't make mention of the service and what they can access there because we didn't want to sound like a product advertisement."

The service is free and currently has 3,700 registered users. The trade shows run by are customized based on information that users provide on virtual business cards they fill out when they register.

So far there have been two to four live Web events each month with an average of 70 attendees for each. Wuepper said she expects the number of trade shows and attendees to increase. More than 120 consultants and analysts contribute information to the site. They include Frank Ingari, founder and chairman of Wheelhouse Corp.; Tom Sant, president of The Sant Corp.; and Becky Medved, vice president of customer relationship marketing at Protocol.

Among the topics they can get information on are direct and interactive marketing; Web conferencing; professional development; research and databases; and customer relationship management.

Respondents also can register for a bimonthly newsletter called Inside Subscribers will receive updated information on the site as well as links to the top two featured articles and conferences in their selected categories. There are 2,500 subscribers to Inside

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above