Kryl Uses Mail to Reach Dream Leads

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Kryl & Company Inc., a small direct marketing agency with seven employees, is waiting on the results of a unique mailing to generate business leads for itself.

The Chicago shop targeted 100 handpicked companies from a swath of industries like technology, sporting goods, healthcare, telecommunications, finance and travel.

"We hand-selected prospects based on staff members' interest and each staff member's idea of a dream client," said Susan Kryl, president of her agency.

For example, one Kryl executive is a runner, hence the sporting goods choice.

The agency dropped 100 mail pieces over 10 weeks starting July 28. A postcard went out the first week. A box with a chess piece, brochure describing Kryl and personalized letter was sent a week after. A telephone call to the prospect would follow in the third week, and an e-mail, if no phone contact was made.

Creative obviously was handled in-house.

"In this economy, people tend to run scared; they're not thinking far in advance," Kryl said. "And what we're trying to do is encourage people to look ahead at what they should be doing over the next year."

That explains the chess theme in the second mail piece: "Are you thinking three moves ahead?" The prospect was urged to call Kryl if the company's marketing budget ran out early. The offer is a free consultation. Those who agree get the entire chess set in the consultation session.

So far, Kryl has two meetings set up as a result of the mailings -- a 5 percent response to the outreach.

"We're only measuring against the 38 boxes dropped because it's a three-to-four-week process in contacting people," Kryl said.

Once a face-to-face meeting is arranged, Kryl intends to push her agency's services in areas like strategic planning, creative, media, database, premium selection, production, tracking and analysis, and telemarketing consultation.

Kryl will rely on work the agency has done for clients like cable firm RCN, data warehousing company Informatica, GE Financial, British American Drama Academy and meat cataloger and wholesaler Stock Yards.

"What we've done is exactly what we recommend clients do," Kryl said.

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