Raising the Profile With DVD Mail
You have a great product and you know the industry it's tailor-made for, so how fast can you introduce this product ... and in the right way?
That was the question Graham Medical, owner of the new MegaMover Transport Chair, put to direct marketer Doug Garnett, founder and CEO of Atomic Direct in Portland, Ore. A DRTV veteran who had worked with the VP of marketing at Graham, Rich Thompon, in the past, Garnett had a plan, of which video was front and center.
He suggested targeting an upcoming trade show for emergency medical services, where Graham announced the product—the Transport Chair is a strong, disposable alternative for transporting patients down stairs and through narrow hallways—and used a B-to-B video spot as a trolling mechanism there. A week later, Graham dropped mail about this product to this same market, as well as to fire departments and nursing homes.
But it wasn't just any mail. This was a 5" x 5" trifold self-mailer containing a six-minute sales DVD inside the sleeve. The stylized outer teases with, "Check out the latest innovation from the makers of the MegaMover 1500!" and mentions the "free gift with purchase," DVD and limited time offer. The back of the outer mimics the white-and-black design of the product, which Garnett says helps the effort stand out in the mailbox plus represents a familiar icon for the brand (Archive code #397-717841-0905).
Folding open the mailer reveals three panels that show the product in use (an injured or infirm person being carried down stairs on the Transport Chair with four men) with some bulletized copy about its benefits-"Strong. Carries up to 350 pounds with the weight distributed across eight nylon straps" and "Carrying handles give a firm grip for up to four people to share the load."
The offer appears on the third panel, and underneath is the DVD. The so-called limited time offer is a sampler pack with two MegaMover Chairs for $39.95, and the premium is a LED headlamp with a $19.95 value. Response mechanisms include a toll-free number and website.
"There was a story to tell behind the MegaMover product in order for it to succeed. As is common in direct response TV, we used the great features of the product to help establish more awareness and visibility of the general brand," explains Garnett, who says that Graham distributes many products in the medical industry, such as table paper, but which don't have much "pizzazz," naturally. With the MegaMover, he hoped to raise its profile.
The DVD was the best way to do that. How exactly? "You control it. Many campaigns try to refer prospects to an online video, but there are a tremendous number of problems of people actually successfully seeing your videos in the right way and getting the impact that you're after from it. Secondly, DVDs have more impact. When you go full screen, you actually have more impact on the end user, end consumer, especially compared to online video," claims Garnett, who says the video has been repurposed for Graham's website and that a follow-up postcard referencing the offer and DVD was dropped two months later.
Garnett says mailing lists don't get much better than this one-emergency services are public information because they're part of government and very up-to-date. The total space is about 30,000 to 40,000 names. Also, Graham was helped by this not being a gatekeeper situation, as the effort generally went to people who are not bombarded with much mail and who have purchasing power for those companies.
While not able to release figures, Garnett says Graham hit the target in terms of direct response and improved distributor sales.
A Fresh Premium
In the days when everything is looked at more carefully, some campaigns are including more innovative premiums. The MegaMover campaign was certainly one of those, with its headlamp gift. "It relates to what they do, but it's also for guys who do stuff outdoors at home, when those kind of headlamps are very useful," asserts Doug Garnett, CEO of Atomic Direct. "The price was right for us, and it was fresh. Nobody wants another clock with a logo on it."