Corporate Gift Book Plans Test Mailings Before Holidays

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Online corporate gift marketer Creative Expressions of Tampa Bay Inc. mailed its first catalog to 10,000 names last week. The company plans to test its new concept, titled A Corporate Gift, with additional mailings this summer before dropping 40,000 to 50,000 copies for the holiday gift-giving season.


Creative Expressions operates several Web sites offering high-end corporate gifts, incentives and rewards, such as corporategiftshowcase.com and corporategiftsandflowers.com. For its latest endeavor, the company decided to build a new brand from scratch to create a consistent look and feel between the catalog and a companion site, acorporategift.com.


"There shouldn't be any inconsistencies. We've learned that along the way," Creative Expressions vice president Duayne Furgason said.


The decision to enter direct mail was spurred by customers, Furgason said. "Our customers have been asking us for a catalog" that they can bring into a meeting and use as a point of reference.


However, Creative Expressions sees the catalog mainly as a vehicle to drive traffic to the A Corporate Gift site, which offers 1,500 SKUs. The book showcases a few items from each category available online, including leather goods, crystal and Seiko and Movado watches. Prices range from $20 to $2,500 per item.


"The catalog is a teaser and is geared to show different types of things," Furgason said.


One of A Corporate Gift's points of difference is that many items in the catalog and on the site can be personalized via foil stamping or debossing, he said.


"There doesn't seem to be a lot of people out there with the printing option on high-end items," said Furgason, who added that this is why the company has focused on this approach.


The first issue of A Corporate Gift has 16 pages. The book is mailing to marketing directors, sales managers and executives responsible for rewarding their employees. While the company's Web sites attract a wide range of customers, from Hollywood executives to corporate America, Furgason said it has yet to determine the best market for the catalog.


This explains why Creative Expressions will drop four test mailings -- varying from 10,000 to 15,000 catalogs -- before the end of the summer. The bulk of these mailings will go to prospects from different lists and markets.


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