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Printer Campaign Aids Re-sellers

In an effort to funnel comprehensive leads to re-sellers of its $16,000 printer, computer provider Hewlett-Packard is launching a two-pronged campaign that marries direct mail and Web marketing.

“Very frequently, your product isn't the only product that re-sellers are selling,” said Jon Davis, marketing product manager for Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA. “You are competing for shelf space, so you really have to manage the re-sellers well.”

Hewlett-Packard is aiming the campaign, which promotes its HP D640 production printer, at mid-size to large companies culled from the subscription lists of such publications as InformationWeek, PC Magazine and Beyond Computing. Hewlett-Packard just completed the initial phase of the campaign, which hit 80,000 businesses and garnered a response rate of almost 4 percent, and will drop another 60,000 to 70,000 pieces next month.

Recipients are invited to visit the printer's Web site (www.hpd640.com) to get additional information about the product, complete a questionnaire that pinpoints their printing needs and enter to win a Hewlett-Packard palmtop computer.

Hewlett-Packard has partnered with Babcock and Jenkins Direct, Beaverton, OR, a direct marketing agency that caters to hi-tech clients, to glean additional information on prospects responding via the Web. WebProfiler, the agency's proprietary technology, identifies recipients after they visit the site and enter their unique PIN printed on the mail piece. The WebProfiler creates a profile of the prospects based on their answers to the questionnaire, scores the leads and sends them to the appropriate re-seller — just seconds after the prospect leaves the Web site.

“The quality of these leads is the most important thing,” said Bill Babcock, managing partner of Babcock and Jenkins Direct. “The technology gives the salesperson a tremendous amount of qualifying information. It also pinpoints the people who are not qualified, which is equally important.”

Recipients also can fax or mail a response card to receive additional information about the HP D640, but the vast majority choose to respond via the Web, Babcock said.

Both phases of the campaign include a bright yellow self-mailer that depicts a worried man in oversize clothing on the outer cover. Copy reads: “… Don't Worry, You'll Grow Into It In No Time.” Inside, the man, now jubilant and wearing well-fitting clothes, is pictured below copy reading: “One Size Never Fits All.” The piece further states: “Now Hewlett-Packard offers the HP D640, a mid-range production printer that fits awkward in-between applications so well, it's almost too good to be true. Whether you need incremental capacity to supplement a huge printer or you're moving up into high volume printing, the HP D640 is a powerful, simple, inexpensive, perfect fit.”

“We didn't really have a lead or demand generation for re-sellers before this,” Davis said, adding that Hewlett-Packard is considering extending the strategy to other products. “We had done direct mail, but it was always very difficult to make the link between the re-sellers and somebody responding to the mailing. This just simplifies that task and makes it automatic.”

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