Creative campaigns from HoneyBaked Ham Co., Grainger and PETCO

HoneyBaked Ham Company
Premium mailer delivers 7% response rate

HoneyBaked Ham does 65% of its sales around three holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Last year, however, the multichannel merchant of specialty meats looked for a way to increase orders during the holidays — particularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We had been struggling with the early December period and really tried to find a good way to market to our custom­ers during that time frame,” says Tim Kiss, director of one-to-one marketing for HoneyBaked Ham.

HoneyBaked Ham asked long-time agency Harte-Hanks to design a new mailer for holiday 2007, which would be sent to the company’s 91,960 highest-buying customers and cus­tomers in its main market areas. A 20-page saddle-stitched booklet was produced, with the theme, “Gifts that are spe­cial.” The piece focused on tradition, warmth and quality, positioning HoneyBaked Hams as thoughtful gifts.

“Harte-Hanks designed a piece that was a good call to action and had a strong emotional pull to it,” notes Kiss. “It’s very warm and premium, and I think that’s what helped move customers to really spend time with it and shift customers to look at HoneyBaked Hams as a great gift.”

The program, which cost $98,000 including postage, gener­ated $662,293 in revenue and a 7% response rate. It brought in 557 catalog/online orders, for $78,018 in sales, plus 5,800 retail orders for $584,275 in sales. The average order was more than $100 in stores and $140 from the catalog — up from the usual $50 with past programs. –Lauren Bell

Web-based magazine extends reach

Approach: Looking to cut costs and gain better tracking abilities, industrial supplier Grainger began transitioning its b-to-b print magazine, SupplyLink, to the Web in July. built the platform, which dynamically exposes visitors to various content and uses CoreMetrics tags to understand how visitors use the site. Grainger sent direct mail and e-mail to 20,000 subscribers to announce the new site.

Results: The site recorded 27,000 unique visitors in its first four weeks. –Nathan Golia

Pet supply retailer promotes consumer-generated content

Approach: PETCO worked with Bazaarvoice to create The AnswerDen microsite, which brings together all of the question and answer content from An “Answer This” contest promoted the site by rewarding the first person to answer the question of the day. The June contest was promoted via e-mail and on

Results: Average daily answer volume increased 358% and average daily question volume was up 49%. Visitors converted 72% more than other browsers. -Chantal Todé

Paul Mouer, VP and group creative director, Hawkeye

I really like what HoneyBaked Ham did with this holiday mailer —everything from the size of the mailer to the journalistic photogra­phy that shows families of different sizes and ethnicities. The upscale touches like metallic gold ink and the testimonial vellum insert all contribute to the Norman Rockwell feeling that we all have in our heads when we think about being with our own friends and family around the holidays. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the font. I would have gone with something a tad more upscale like a serif or script font.

Moving Grainger’s magazine SupplyLink to an online-only format is a smart, strategic move that should pay big dividends in the long run. I like the clean, professional look of both the Web site and the an­nouncement communications that migrate people to the site. However, the announcement messaging broke DM Golden Rule number one: “always convey the main benefit to the customer” — or, to put it another way, “what’s in it for them?”

Creating the PETCO AnswerDen as a way to increase sales and cus­tomer loyalty is a stroke of pure genius. I am amazed by the incredible results that the customer commu­nity generated in such a short time. I only wish the microsite had some of the personality that the launch sweepstakes materials displayed — it is very plain and utilitarian in its look and feel. It would be great if the site personified the personality and passion of its target audience.

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