Jeweler Thinks There's Gold in High-End Mailers

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A jeweler with three locations in Massachusetts used a catalog shaped like a treasure chest and the chance to win $5,000 worth of jewelry to entice customers into its stores during the holidays.

DePrisco Jewelers mailed 4,000 pieces the week before Thanksgiving. The 16-page catalog and an invitation card with a key went out in blue translucent envelopes. Recipients could bring the key to any of the locations, allowing them the chance to win a treasure chest containing $5,000 in jewelry.

"The goal was to get people into the locations during the holiday season," said Michael Ciolino, president of Verve Creative, West Newton, MA, the graphic design and advertising firm that for the third consecutive year handled DePrisco Jewelers' annual holiday marketing campaign. "A secondary goal was to use the catalog as a way to order jewelry by phone."

A similar effort in 2001 involving invitations to visit stores in the shape of a gaming wheel drew a 15 percent response rate. The mailings in 2001 and last year went to the company's customer list with no prospecting.

"We were told just after Thanksgiving that the piece has been well-received, and they are expecting another 15 percent response rate this year," Ciolino said. "They track this all the way through the new year, so they don't have final results yet.

"We did a die-cut last year of a gaming wheel, and we put many of the products on the wheel," he said. "This year we wanted to put as much information and photos in the consumers' hands as possible, which led to the idea of producing a catalog."

Per-piece expense was $4.50 to $5, not including postage.

"We had the catalog printed on a specialty metallic paper, which enhanced the look of the jewelry," he said.

The catalog had 82 items, including platinum 1.5-karat total diamond stud earrings with diamond dangles ($63,000) and white pearl earrings ($50).

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