Before and After
One engaging and prevalent device commonly used to promote diet and weight-loss products is the before-and-after image. For example, not convinced that product X will trim inches off of your waistline? Just look at the "before" shot of a frowning, overweight customer and then the "after" picture of a slim, smiling customer.
Before-and-after pictures are compelling because they help customers visualize a product's benefits. B-to-B mailings might be the last place on earth you'd expect to see this tactic in play, but for its March mailing, promoting its Scan Station 500, Eastman Kodak cleverly promotes its product benefits in a before-and-after self-mailer.
The 6" x 9" postcard arrives inside a clear polywrap sleeve-a USPS requirement in lieu of wafer-sealing the mailing shut. On the front side, next to the prospect's name and address is an image of an iPod and the offer, "Buy a Kodak Scan Station 500, get a free iPod!" Underneath the offer is a website, DoMore.kodak.com, where prospects can go to learn more or make purchases.
On the reverse side, the copy reads, "If you're being asked to do more with less, we've got the answer." The entire panel shows a typical office, cluttered with common equipment. If the prospect pulls the tab, marked "pull," the panel slides out to reveal a much nicer, neater office, with all of the equipment consolidated into one Scan Station 500. Also, the new panel reiterates the offer, benefits and URL to the right of the improved office.
"We were going for a visual approach. The fact that you can take a cluttered office and unclutter it-still be able to do all of the things that you were doing before, but in a more efficient manner," says Kathy Phillips, marketing communications manger for document imaging. She says she doesn't favor traditional #10s or other close-faced formats for this type of product mailing because she likes the mail piece to stand out. "We didn't want to disguise it or have it be something that you couldn't see in an envelope. We wanted to entice them to open it, read through and act on it," she explains.
Phillips, along with Roger Markham, marketing manager for distributed capture and document imaging, worked with an agency to design and send the mailing to 35,000 prospects at small- to medium-sized businesses. For B-to-B mailings, Phillips and Markham agree that it's imperative to find the best lists for a product, as the target audience for the Scan Station includes many possible titles including presidents, CEOs, office managers and IT managers.
The list the agency came up with was segmented by channel to include direct mail, e-mail and telemarketing efforts. Most prospects received a direct mail piece alone, some received both mail and e-mail or a telephone call, and another small group received only e-mail. Three weeks after the direct mail campaign, a follow-up postcard with the same creative went out to a small portion of the list, reminding those who hadn't already acted to visit the website.
The purpose of the campaign is to drive prospects online to a landing page where they can enter their customer IDs. After entering the ID, and confirming or updating information on a prepopulated form, the customer is taken to a microsite with extensive information on the Scan Station 500 and a call to action to purchase one. (Archive code #836-178540-0903)
Using a direct mail/landing page campaign is a win-win for Kodak Eastman. "We seem to overall get good results from the landing pages, and again it allows us to do some good tracking ... We know who they are; we can tell what pages on the site they visited, how long they were there and who went to the purchase page," Phillips says.
The free iPod adds a personal incentive for response. "The Scan Station is for your office, but the iPod is something more for the individual ... and we have found that when there is something in it for them, that our response rate is better," Phillips describes. The iPod offer also helps gather better sales data to compare with outside resellers.
Using a Customer Login
When prospects go from Eastman Kodak's direct mail piece to its landing page, they are immediately required to log in with their customer IDs, which are printed next to their names on the mailing. Eastman Kodak uses the ID to prepopulate a contact form with each customer's information. This process creates a good user experience online and helps the company to build a clean database.