You have a first-class product that's proved itself on the market for 18 months. You've run some solid direct mail campaigns around, it and they've helped you capture 40 percent market share. Should you stand pat and send the same lead generation effort out again?
Not if you're the marketing department in charge of the B-to-B campaigns at Canon U.S.A., based in Lake Success, N.Y. For the Canon imagePress C7000VP, it worked with the creative agency Magicomm, which helped create the slick 10-1/2" x 4" self-mailer enclosed in a plastic sleeve and sent to a list of around 7,000 commercial printers, educational institutions, publishers and print service providers. "We had a really targeted list that we were focusing on that gave us a lot of information on our prospects and that talked about the type of devices they had, so we really wanted to make sure we made it as relevant as possible as well as go beyond the personalization of the name," describes Forrest Leighton, senior manager at ISG Production Systems for Canon U.S.A. (Archive code #812-171835-0901).
On the back of the mailer, the prospect's company name is cleverly personalized above the words "Strength-Building Program" and an image of a barbell being hoisted. On the front, it shows a small sketch of a digital press next to the copy, "Give your printing operation the muscle it needs. Learn how at our FREE WEBINAR SERIES."
The webinar is where Canon wants prospects to end up, thus it consciously does not overwhelm prospects but instead gives them just enough information to encourage registration. "We definitely kept the content minimal because we wanted to drive people to attend the webinar," explains Joseph Schember, marketing associate specialist for ISG Production Systems at Canon U.S.A. "We didn't want it to be just a product introduction with a bunch of specs."
Folding open the mailer reveals four panels. The top panel features three sketched images, the first two of a man lifting a barbell and the last lifting a digital press. The second panel shows a picture of the Canon ImagePress C7000VP alongside informational copy, and then it spotlights the webinar about "Understanding the True Cost of Ownership of a Digital Color Press" and gives a personalized URL. The third panel again discusses the webinar and repeats the pURL. The fourth and last panel repeats the pURL and gives a cutaway reply card.
The webinar piece, along with the plastic sleeve and so much variable data, made it a more expensive effort than previous campaigns. "The response rates is one way to measure, but the other is if the right people are responding. You want the right people to put their hand up," describes Leighton, who adds that the people who have registered for the webinar are truly qualified.
Leighton hopes for a 3 percent to 4 percent response rate, and he expects that most registers will occur on the landing page. In previous campaigns, he says the BRC used to be the No. 1 response mechanism, but now more people are using the pURL. The mailing literally dropped a week before the webinar. "We probably would have liked to be a few days in front of that, but it did go out and was timely. People responded right away, and then the webinar was right there. There's some value in that," relates Leighton, who mentions that round two of this piece dropped Feb. 2 for a follow-up Feb. 18 webinar. The design on the piece changed slightly, and the webinar topic also was different.