Mailer Offers a Better Hook

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A manufacturer of point-of-purchase displays uses an interesting hook to catch the attention of recipients in a recent direct mail effort. Actually, the company uses two hooks -- plastic ones included with the mailer.

"Our goal is to get at least 75 percent of our [POP display] existing customers to order," said Ben Cohen, a sales manager/marketing manager at Azar International Inc. "For anyone who is using a metal or plastic hook, we would like them to replace them with the new plastic hooks."

The effort began just after Labor Day with a single drop.

"They included a letter explaining that it's a new product," he said. "They have purchased metal hooks from us, but these new plastic hooks are different. They had been black or white and not so aesthetically pleasing. These are crystal clear. As injection molders, we developed material that is flexible plastic.

"The only way to see how great the hook is, is to actually see it. A photo wouldn't show how nice it is."

Azar International, Nanuet, NY, targeted half its 2,000 customers with the piece. Recipients have bought pegboard displays, hooks or POP-oriented items. They mainly are brand marketers that supply POP displays to chain stores, though the company deals with some chain stores directly.

The 6-by-9-inch envelope included the company's logo with a pitch letter containing pricing information. The included hooks were stretch wrapped onto a piece of cardboard. It went out First Class.

"We looked at some corrugated box options and sending it UPS, FedEx or Airborne, but we wanted to keep costs down," he said. "This is not new business we're looking for. These are existing customers ordering tens of thousands of units. [This is] something they'll have on their desk when they are ready to place an order."

He placed the response rate during the campaign's early days at 2.5 percent. However, he expects that orders will be generated during the next six months or longer. He hopes many of the orders will be placed in the next 30 to 60 days.

Also, many of those targeted will be seen at trade shows.

"We attend 10 to 12 trade shows per year," he said.

The mailing's cost per piece was pegged at less than $1.

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