BTB Creative Takes to Wooden Postcards

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Wooden postcards are the latest in a business-to-business campaign from Sullivan Creative that has included toy crocodiles and fortune-telling fish.

The campaign, which began in the summer, uses keepsakes that recipients keep around the office until they are looking for a full-service agency.

"People we are contacting may not be ready to do a campaign the minute they receive a mailing," said Pamela Sullivan, Sullivan's president and creative director. "But that time might come a week, a month or six months from then, and by touching them multiple times and sending items that can be kept around will help keep us in front of them."

Sullivan Creative, Watertown, MA, focuses on small to mid-size companies, though it does handle parts of large campaigns for larger organizations. It works with companies from a variety of verticals.

Generating new business and identifying strong leads are the primary aims of the effort. The call to action for each mailing has been to visit the Web site and sign up for the company's e-newsletter, Secrets of Successful Marketing, which is sent every six weeks.

"We want to build a database of names from those who register for the e-newsletter," she said. "The goal of the e-newsletter is not to promote ourselves but to serve as an educational tool for them and teach them how to run multichannel marketing campaigns."

The first mailing went out in early June with another six to eight weeks later. Both were 8.5-by-6-inch regular postcards designed to drive people to where they could sign up for the e-newsletter.

Those who signed up for the e-newsletter received a wind-up tin crocodile and a fortune-telling fish. Teaser copy on the front of the postcards alluded to the gifts. The crocodile mailer, for example, had a picture of a crocodile's head and the headline "Give your clients something to sink their teeth into!"

The postcards generated a response rate of about 4 percent each and pulled in 200 to 300 subscribers. Both went to the same 1,800 people. Half of the names were compiled in-house while the other half came from purchased lists. Since the campaign started, Sullivan said, only two people have requested that they be taken off the mailing list.

"The number of mailings has increased slightly since it began after we acquired new names," she said.

Recipients are communication directors, directors of development, marketing directors and corporate communication directors at small to medium-sized businesses.

For the wooden postcard sent late last month, Sullivan already has set up one confirmed meeting and has one other company "very interested in setting one up."

Like the prior two mailings, the 4.75-by-6.5-inch wooden postcard contained a small amount of text explaining how Sullivan Creative can help a business. A contact name and number, Web site and e-newsletter information were provided. The back of the postcard is a painting of two leaves that can be hung or placed on someone's desk.

The price per piece for the wooden postcard mailer was less than $2. Per-piece postage cost 60 cents. The creative, labeling and canceling were done in-house.

Sullivan said that since June the campaign has paid for itself.

"These postcards are an inexpensive way to reach a short amount of people," she said.


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