Customers are bored by aspirational images. At least that was Mark Kovich’s theory. The VP of sales and marketing at high-end cabinet manufacturer Waypoint Living Spaces felt that the uniform prettiness of furniture photography is undermined by the fact that not every consumer wants the same thing. Grandma and grandpa, after all, wouldn’t want the same kitchen trappings as a foodie.
Working with marketing services compansey Valassis, Waypoint sent out personalized postcards to whet the imaginations of prospects similar in some respects (all were homeowners between 35 and 64 and had expressed plans to remodel), but very different in others. Besides personalizing the names on the advertising creative, Waypoint reached into Valassis’ pool of behavioral, lifestyle, and demographic data to send direct mail postcards to specific segments.
It was the capstone of what started as a much broader branding campaign. Prior to sending out personalized postcards, Waypoint sent mailers and email blasts to four North American markets (New England and parts of the Tri-State area, California between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Tampa Bay area in Florida, and the Mid-Atlantic region) that it had identified as hotbeds of remodeling activity.
As website traffic grew—from150 views per week initially, to 250-300 following the postcards, to 5,000-6,000 following the email blast—Waypoint fired off personalized mailers. “There were a couple of things we looked at,” says Mike Dorrington, the national sales director at Valassis. “Homeowners versus renters, different age demographics, the age of the home. A lot of those things played into the overall targeting reports that we sent to Waypoint.”
And these lifestyle particulars affected the type of cards Waypoint sent out. For instance, an image with a toddler sitting on a kitchen floor banging pots and pans with a wooden spoon fit well with empty-nesters thinking of their grandchildren. Culinary enthusiasts, on the other hand, received flyers with an image of a rack of lamb with all the fixings sitting on a countertop…next to a dog ready to take a chomp. “The content is pithy, more playful, and it’s less directly aspirational,” Kovich says.
During the campaign’s peak, the Waypoint website had 12,000 to 13,000 visitors per week. “And all this was done without any kind of an offer,” he says. As a lead generation endeavor, 26% of respondents said they would consider buying from Waypoint in the future and 48% agreed to provide personal information for later sales follow-ups.