Database-Driven Creative Solutions (1,598 words)
The Wayfarers recently had moved to the U.S. market after successfully selling in Europe for many years. Its key prospecting tool was its catalog. However, the catalog was proving to be a pricey lead-generator, and the client was seeking alternate ways to capture information and keep in touch with its prospects (who may be making a purchase in years to come, but not necessarily in the year they receive the lead-generating promotion).
Being an avid traveler myself, I'm on some lists for tours and travel experiences, and had a good idea of what we were facing on the home front. When I received simple postcards from travel groups, I didn't see enough to move me into action for that travel experience. So following a bit more research, we suggested a more complex self-mailer.
The brand/look of the existing catalog was on target for our audience, so our self-mailer—a roll fold—didn't sell specific tours or try to be a mini-catalog. Instead it described The Wayfarers experience by breaking it down into the elements the targeted traveler treasures: gentle adventure, pampering, excellent accommodations and cuisine, new friendships, individual care, and memorable experiences.
We enclosed a tipped-on reply card, so prospects could keep the brochure without destroying it, either when they responded to the offer or passed along the effort to a friend. It's important to note that this market saves promotional materials for future travel planning.
And reply they did—at an astonishing rate, even to cold lists. We not only captured information as they responded, but we discovered people who were ready to tour that very season—paying for the mailer many times over. We now have a strategy to continue … to both expired names in the house list and more rented lists.
Brevity was the key to the success of this mailer. Where the catalog contained too much information, the self-mailer wooed prospects by showing them the destinations in glorious color. We romanced prospects with messaging that virtually had them walking with companions in the hills of Tuscany, but we didn't try to sell them specifics in this contact.