Promo Close-Up - A Halloween Hit

Direct Mailer Scares Up Strong Results

Halloween Case StudyThe 10-person marketing team at Clearwater, FL-based PostcardMania (asi/297390) sat down on their department couches last fall to brainstorm ways to use their new digital press. The device makes it easier to add personalized content like names and images to postcards and direct-mail pieces. “We went through all kinds of crazy ideas,” says Jessica Lalau, director of marketing at PostcardMania. “We finally landed on the idea of sending a simple, one-line postcard to go out to our entire database.”

The full-service marketing company, which specializes in lead generation, decided on a fun, two-part campaign. It consisted of a cryptic postcard and a YouTube video that the firm produced in-house in just two days. “We wanted to come up with a cool Halloween campaign,” says Sarah Kicinski, PostcardMania’s chief marketing officer. “And it was important that we come up with something innovative rather than just offer a money-off discount to drive sales. We wanted to impress the pants off of our customers.”

First, to create intrigue, the company mailed a 6”x11” personalized postcard with only six words and a URL on it: “They are coming for you, (Name)” and The recipient’s first name was personalized on the front of the card using PostcardMania’s new variable data printing process. Phase two of the campaign used “an awesomely creepy” YouTube video that struck the right balance of zombie horror and humor on the landing page. “We figured the one-line postcard would be more intriguing and that it would make people notice and say ‘what’s this?’ and entice them go to the URL,” says Lalau.

PostcardMania mailed out 5,960 personalized postcards to clients who had ordered from the firm within the prior six weeks, as well as 97,350 emails to its entire client database to promote the campaign. In the short time it tracked the campaign, PostcardMania received 2,572 visits to the landing page and 871 clicks from emails with 6,171 opens – an impressive return. The total campaign cost $1,685.18. “We spent $1,672.19 on postage and $12.99 to register a unique domain name for the landing page,” Lalau says. “Everything else was handled in-house. Total ROI the very next week from only the clients who received the postcard was over $137,740. Feedback on the campaign has been incredibly positive – our clients loved it – but nothing speaks quite like results. And thankfully, we had those, too.”

Lalau says the tremendous response proves yet again that you don’t have to be a huge brand name with a million-dollar budget to make a dent in the Halloween marketing blitz. Indeed, PostcardMania enjoyed testimonials like this from Mary Bergeron of Tri-City Sprinklers & Landscaping in Loveland, CO: “Seriously, the whole setup was fabulous – very professional and the ending was a total surprise. Still laughing when I think about it! I put it on my Facebook and Twitter feed right away.”

Creating an emotional connection with customers like Bergeron was ultimately what PostcardMania was hoping for. “We really wanted to leave the impression with current clients that we’re a fun and creative marketing company,” says Kicinski. “This plays an important part in improving the affinity they feel for us, and that will hopefully translate into long-lasting client relationships for PostcardMania.”