Anthem National Accounts' Kelly Colbert on the Use of High-Impact Direct Mail
Boldt: How qualified was your target list?
Colbert: It was a variety of different factors. One were prospects that were on these salespeople’s target lists. They had a pretty good sense when their business was up for renewal, and then there were those companies that we were unsure of their renewal dates. That was what the precampaign sought to answer, as we contacted them with a team of telemarketers.
Boldt: Was the ecosphere chosen because it had staying power, perhaps both in the office and in their minds?
Colbert: That was a key benefit. In fact, I am looking at mine right now. We wanted to earn a place on our prospect’s desk and in their daily work life. The truth is that these are very sophisticated folks with lovely offices, and something that was a branded material that was anything less than elegant would not make it onto their desks. We succeeded and hopefully will be in their life when their renewal date does come up.
Boldt: Does the hectic life of the executive make high-impact a top channel?
Colbert: Absolutely. One can bludgeon prospects with a lot of #10s, which do work. You can do brochures, self-mailers and have a lot of frequency, but that can give you a false sense of efficiency—and that’s not what these people really wanted. Our real focus was to get something that elicited a response, that we could turn into an opportunity. This idea made sense, made an impact, broke through the clutter, all those things …
Boldt: What did you do with those who didn’t respond?
Colbert: Responders went into the sales funnel. Nonresponders received two more touchpoints, an e-version and direct mail version of a newsletter, as [our research showed that] people wanted to understand wellness and the ROI of wellness. So we used material that we already had in our walls and put it into a newsletter. It helped position us as thought leaders in the health insurance space.
Boldt: Will high-impact become a trend?
Colbert: It might be a very smart way to market to these prospects. But a trend? Questionable. The market idea du jour is usually done, such as social media or digital mail. But you have to understand your prospect base and where they spend their time with media. A smart marketer would front-load their marketing budget and do more high-impact because not that many people are. Back to basics. Our e-mail boxes are flooded with offers and newsletters. Go back to direct mail delivery, and get more attention.
This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Inside Direct Mail, a sister publication to Target Marketing. To learn more about Inside Direct Mail, visit www.insidedirectmail.com.