Lego Builds Ticket Sales With DM Campaign

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Lego's first direct marketing campaign translated into 17,000 tickets to its newly opened amusement park and helped the company focus demographics for potential follow-up campaigns, according to the campaign's developer.


In July, Lego launched its first direct marketing campaign to, among other things, see if it could develop a cost-effective direct mailing program that would help customer acquisition as well as drive people to its Legoland amusement park in Carlsbad, CA.


George Macedo, president of Caralex Direct, Encinitas, CA, the integrated marketing services firm that developed the campaign for Lego, said that the data Lego acquired from this campaign has helped it to identify a demographic that it will "most likely" be targeting with another direct mail campaign in the spring.


Macedo said there were not many details that he could discuss about the future campaign as of yet.


In late December, the final response numbers and consumer data were tabulated and, according to Macedo, the campaign generated a 4.6 percent response rate totaling 17,000 ticket sales through the park's front gate and via www.legolandfun.com. The site was created specifically for the campaign.


Lego, Billund, Denmark, has primarily relied on TV and outdoor advertising, both of which have been profitable, but wanted to "explore other marketing avenues," Macedo said. With the database of parents compiled from this campaign, Lego will be looking to cross-sell its products and services to them, profiling them for future park openings and look for them to take part in product-oriented surveys. Lego does not plan to sell the names it compiled.


Other goals Lego looked to accomplish included: testing the cost efficiency of direct marketing; identifying the most profitable mailing lists and market segments, based on ZIP code and income, for future mailings; determining the type of promotional discount offers that are most profitable; developing a new database for cross-selling annual park passes and other Lego-branded products; and testing the use of the park's Web site to garner ticket sales and compile consumer survey data. It also aimed to compile data it could use to establish future cooperative marketing agreements.


"The campaign produced a gold mine of data," Macedo said. "We found out that direct mail is cost-efficient; what discount offer worked best for each segment, and which segments were most profitable; the toy division in Enfield, CT, got new Lego Club members for future toy catalog sales, and on the Web site we got a large number of pre-paid sales; [and] it helped produce valuable customer data as well as an opt-in e-mail database for future online direct marketing initiatives. Lego has not done any e-mail marketing yet but is looking to conduct one in the future."


Lego's Shop-At-Home toy catalog is mailed five times per year to an average of 1.7 million children. Those names come from a mix of its database and external lists. Its Lego Club is made up of 1.4 million Lego Maniacs, who receive the Lego Mania magazine six times per year. The magazine contains special product offers, information on new products and park events as well as articles on what other members have created with their Lego sets.


The campaign used 362,000 mail pieces that were sent primarily to the parents of children between the ages of 3 and 10. The total cost of the campaign was nearly $265,000. Those targeted live in southern California where the park, which opened in March 1999, is located.


"The mailing was sent out in late July in order to drive prospects to the park during the last half of the competitive summer season," Macedo said. "The names came from a number of sources, including an inhouse file and external lists purchased from 18 different list providers."


The mailer, which was designed by Direct Marketing Solutions, Portland, OR, is a colorful trifold piece that opens up to provide an overhead shot of the Legoland park. A tearaway coupon includes either a "$5 off each pass" offer or a "$25 only for each pass" offer. The tearaway coupon also served as a registration form for parents wanting to register their children for the Lego Club.


The text of each piece is identical. It informs recipients that they can avoid waiting at the gate by purchasing tickets online at www.legolandfun.com. Details regarding park hours and how to sign up children for the Lego Club are included as well. The map of the park comes with descriptions of some of its largest and most popular attractions.


"The piece was designed to emphasize the size and scope of the park," Macedo said. "The other theme Lego wanted to convey was that Legoland is a kid-powered interactive park."


The first Legoland park was built in Billund in 1968. A Windsor, England park opened in 1996 and another is currently under construction in Germany.
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