Back With a Bangtail
Once-defunct cataloger Fingerhut—known for extending credit and goods to lower-income consumers—is back in the mailstream with its first continuity program since Federated Department Stores Inc. sold the company last year.
Fingerhut customers were targeted in the fourth quarter of 2003 with a jewelry continuity program created by marketing services firm Holsted Marketing. Two sets of direct mail pieces went out in the second half of October, each to 50,000 people. Another 100,000 were sent via bangtails—offers on extra flaps attached to Fingerhut monthly remittance envelopes—in early November.
“The idea [behind this campaign] was to define what products and offers work, and prepare for next year when [Fingerhut] would be in a position to mail to its entire customer file,” explains Victor Benson, president and CEO, Holsted Marketing.
With each mailing, the first shipment of jewelry is offered free, with minimal shipping and handling costs. The fee for the bangtail offer was $3.99 and included two surprise gifts along with a free sterling silver, cubic zirconia ring.
“Bangtails are just another way to approach the customer,” says Robert Kieffer, senior vice president and general counsel, Fingerhut Direct Marketing. “A bangtail, especially on a payment envelope, is a highly visible medium for our customer base. We know from past experience with this kind of program that the bangtail works effectively, given that it’s a cost-effective way to get in front of the customer.” Fingerhut’s program will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2004, with rollout expected for the second quarter, says Kieffer.