Nuts and Bolts Mailer Strategy Works for Tower Fasteners

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Tower Fasteners dropped 5,000 oversized self-mailers last week as part of an ongoing campaign that the company says is the best way to promote its more than 150,000 products to customers.

"Through repeated mailings we cannot only keep them up to date on the new products we have available, but it raises awareness and increases our exposure," said Mark Shannon, vice president of Tower Fasteners, Holtsville, NY.

Tower is a distributor of fasteners and electronic hardware. It has been sending the mail pieces monthly to the purchasing directors and engineers at original equipment manufacturers since August.

The company has mailed 50,000 pieces since the campaign began, and averages a 2 percent response rate. Shannon said the mailers cost $750 to $1,000 each month, and the effort has generated enough sales to cover the cost of the mailings to date.

Shannon said monthly mailings are better than catalogs because of the large number of products offered and frequent changes to the line.

"We wouldn't want customers to look at a catalog and think [what was published] was the number of products we were limited to," he said.

Though the mailers list only a few products each month, they aim to spark interest and send potential customers to Tower's Web site or toll-free number for more information.

The monthly mailings also help Tower compensate for a high turnover rate among the target audience.

"The people in the buyer and designer positions within these companies are a critical contact for us," he said. "So if someone who we have had contact with for a while leaves, I want the next person to become familiar with us as quickly as possible."

Because of the high turnover, Tower does not include the recipient's name on the mailing. Instead, it addresses the pieces to the "purchasing director" or "design department."

Tower compiles the mailing list internally. The first mailing last August was split equally between prospects and customers. Since then most of the prospects have become customers.

"It is generally the same pool of people that we started with," he said. "But each month we will establish or find a new contact or target that we would like to be doing business with and we add them to the mailing list."

This basic design stays the same each month, though different products are highlighted.

The pieces were created and distributed for Tower Fasteners by Isser and Associates, Baldwin, NY.


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