Touchpoint Uses Its New Product to Produce Mail Effort

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A direct mail campaign from marketing services provider Touchpoint for its new mail design service also will serve as a demo for the product.


"We find it's better to eat your own cooking," said Cristin Balog, executive director of marketing and product development at Touchpoint, Emeryville, CA. "If we are going to tell people to purchase our product and use it for their campaigns, what better way to show them we strongly believe in it."


Touchpoint Mail for Microsoft Outlook lets businesses design postcards and folded cards, selecting fonts, logos, signatures, photos and other elements. They then can identify the list of people they want to target and send the message to Touchpoint, who can "turn the order around in less than a day," Balog said.


Touchpoint works with small to large companies where repeated customer contact is important, such as real estate, insurance, mortgage brokers, financial services and high-end car dealerships.


"The types of companies we specialize in working with are those that need to make more than one touch with their customers," she said. "These are companies using very personalized mail pieces and looking to leverage their databases."


Potential customers often think that Touchpoint Mail is an e-mail service when they hear that the design is done online and that pieces are sent within 24 hours of Touchpoint receiving them.


"Using our product for a campaign with multiple mailings and offerings allows us to show them that we are talking about a direct mail campaign that can be created and executed within 24 hours, and not an e-mail campaign," she said.


Marketers download Touchpoint Mail, then integrate it with Microsoft Outlook's control bar. From there they choose the type of card they want to design and other options. Marketers will be able to upload their own images in the next version of Touchpoint Mail.


Touchpoint will mail 5,000 to 10,000 pieces to sales managers at midsize companies at the end of the month. Each piece will include a personalized letter from Balog that ends with the following: "P.S. Yes, this card was sent using Touchpoint Mail."


"This product is not what you would use if you wanted to do a mailing of 50,000 pieces," she said. "It's more for the individual who wants to send 50 or 400 pieces. It's for reminders to people who need to check their insurance plans, come in for a meeting or visit a trade show."


The company will send multiple mailings the rest of the year to a list of prospects it acquired from industry trade publications.


Downloading the software is free, and the cost of campaigns varies based on size and frequency. The mail piece includes a free trial offer of 45 cards or postcards sent monthly for three months -- a $149 value according to the mailer.


"Since [the software is] free, the barriers to entry for them are very small," Balog said. "This is the first time we have offered a downloadable piece of software, so there will be a lot of testing with this campaign."


Testing is another aspect of the campaign that allows Touchpoint Mail to lend itself well to the mail effort.


"I am going to be able to see what product offers are working best and make those changes on the fly," she said. "It gives us the ability to do large or small runs. And if one offer is outperforming another, I can make the switches as soon as I want."


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