DMNews talks with Jeff Connally, president and CEO of CMIT Solutions

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Jeff Connally
Jeff Connally

Jeff Connally, president and CEO of CMIT Solutions, an IT services company with about 100 franchise locations across the US, talks about the company's recent DM campaign, “Aspirin.”


Q: What was the idea behind the “Aspirin” campaign?

A: The concept was, “So your computer is giving you a headache? Here are two aspirin!” We actually put two aspirins in the envelope. These lumpy mail pieces got people curious, which I think helped our response and open rate. The campaign consisted of three direct mail pieces — two lumpy letters and one postcard. We also sent three personalized e-mails and then two voicemails that were left after-hours to alert people to the letters.

Q: When did the campaign launch? How long did it last?

A: The mailings began in July, and we just wrapped up the execution phase in August. We plan to track results for 60 days after the last piece has dropped.

Q: Who were you targeting with this campaign? How did you iden­tify these companies?

A: We focus mainly on small busi­nesses with fewer than 100 employ­ees. We have access to a number of industry databases. Then we scrub, scrub and scrub some more. A telemarketing organization does a lot of our scrubbing, makes the phone calls and gets a lot of good information to verify the lists. Our top industry is financial services.

Q: Why did you choose this direct, multitouch approach?

A: If you're a small business owner, you are busy running your business, technology is not your first priority. But, if something bad happens — say, if a salesman's PC is stolen — all of a sudden, technology becomes a priority. It's a combination of knowing how our desired customers behave, knowing they are busy and knowing that three or four times a year they need something. So, our marketing has to be appealing and consistent. We want to keep the brand in front of them, and to add value in our marketing so they understand that CMIT is where they can find their trusted IT advisor.

Q: What are some results so far?

A: For every $1 invested by one of our franchise owners, there's a $16.10 return. That's just initial 3-year contracts for our managed service offering — the lifetime value of a customer is much more than that. Once we have that relationship, they come to us for things both within the basic contract and outside of it.

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