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SpaceWorks Blasts Off With Mail Effort

While showing a significant increase in response rates, SpaceWorks, Rockville, MD, is compiling results from the second drop of a direct mail campaign targeting brick-and-mortar manufacturers looking to add an online business-to-business component.

The campaign began earlier this summer and will run monthly through the end of the year. The third drop took place last week and marks the third time in as many months that SpaceWorks has contacted its list of 35,000 people.

The goal of contacting the same list with what eventually will be six different mailings is to get its name in front of companies such as BFGoodrich Co., Lucent Technologies, Maytag and GE Aircraft Engines, said Liz Sara, vice president of marketing at SpaceWorks.

The last three pieces still are being developed. CPS Direct, Boston, is working with SpaceWorks on the campaign.

SpaceWorks is promoting its software application suite called the Web Business Manager Suite, which is an out-of-the-box application suite that companies can license and activate over a period of time.

“The market for promoting a BTB software suite has never been more ripe,” Sara said. “We did a lot of work in making sure that these were the people that we needed to be in front of and contacting. I am not going to contact people if they are not a good prospect for our product.”

Those being contacted are involved in the e-commerce decision process. Sara said SpaceWorks went after a range of executives, including vice presidents of marketing, vice presidents of sales, vice presidents of e-commerce and IT executives.

Each piece in the campaign will be visually different but will carry the same theme: SpaceWorks' ability to “give birth” to a company's BTB online program in a short period of time. The pieces rely heavily on graphics and bright colors and less on text to gain attention.

“The idea was to try and look nothing like our competitors and go with less text,” Sara said.

SpaceWorks used a different Web address on each piece, allowing the company to track the effectiveness of each one. The first piece, which was in the form of a tabloid newspaper, drew a response rate of 2 percent. The second, a piece that opened into a large flier, has drawn a response rate that is already higher than 2.5 percent, and responses are still coming in. Response rates on the third piece, a postcard-sized mailer, are not in yet.

The increasing response rate surprised Sara, as did the way in which people were responding. Each piece gives the options of responding via telephone, a specific Web site or a business reply card. So far, the responses have been divided equally among the three.

At the Web site or on the telephone with a representative, SpaceWorks uses a five-question survey to help identify whom the respondent should be put in touch with at the company.

The design of each piece, along with a special offer for being one of the first 500 respondents, will change each month. A current best-selling book covering the Internet, e-commerce or the new economy will be given away each month.

The campaign got under way with a print ad, which also will run through year's end. SpaceWorks will use only one print ad in publications such as Fortune, Wired, Business 2.0, Info Week, [email protected] Week and Red Herring.

Similar to the direct mail pieces, the ad uses minimal text and relies heavily on a graphic element. The ad includes SpaceWorks' main Web page address and a toll-free number.

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