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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Statement Stuffers: ‘Red Hot’ Idea VIII for Building Your Own Customer Nurture Program

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Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe went over a great idea for building a Customer Nurture Program. This week? Zoot and Marka discuss statement stuffers. Remember, fire = print.

Red Hot CNP Idea VIII: Statement Stuffers


Each fourth Friday of the month was billing day at FEI.

Zoot was digging through the storage closet in his office and found an old box of 3-5/8 x 8˝ statement stuffers. “Hey Marka, should I toss out these pieces we enclosed in our customer’s billing statements at the end of last year? They say ‘Thanks for your business, see you next year!’”

Marka was vacuuming in the hallway near Zoot’s office. “Glad you found those,” she replied. “The beautiful thing is that New Year’s comes …”

“Once a year?” Zoot chuckled.

Marka tossed her straw colored hair to one side. “Since it’s near the end of the calendar year again, why not enclose these in this month’s customer invoices? There are no extra postage and envelope costs because we’re already mailing the invoices anyway.”

In the middle of his end-of-the-year cleaning, Zoot blew dust balls off of old golf equipment buried in the corner of his closet. “We’ve been over this before,” he said in a neutral tone. “The person who pays the bills often isn’t the person who makes fire buying decisions.”

A smile lit up Marka’s face. “Think of it a different way. What does it cost to print and cut a flimsy piece of paper to fit in a #10 envelope? A fraction of a drachma? The cost-per-impression is lower than Hades; I’d be happy if even 1/4 of our recipients were in a position to act on our promotional message.”

“Printing a routing list on each stuffer would increase the chance of the piece reaching the right business influencers,” Zoot suggested. “And we could use the stuffers as an opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell to current customers!”

Marka gave her salesman buddy a big thumbs up. She was pleased with Zoot’s willingness to embrace new ideas.

Today’s Fire Point
Enclosed within invoices, statement stuffers can be used to nurture, up-sell, cross-sell, move old inventory and much more. These small pieces of paper cost little to print and can be distributed in mail you already are planning to send. The extremely low cost-per-impression of these materials justifies the fact that a significant percentage won’t ever be seen by a key business influencer. A suggested routing list (i.e., “Please route to: Marketing, Production … etc.”) can be printed on the piece to increase the chance that your marketing message reaches the right person.
 
FIRE! in Action
Symix Gets Creative with Direct Mail

The software manufacturer promoted its new product—tagged “The software you can run with.”—by sending out a “shotgun” mailer stuffed with a pair of shoelaces. The quirky offer generated six times as many qualified leads as previous campaigns (plus won an Addy Award).

Next week: Another red-hot tip for building your own Customer Nurture Program.

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
TJ Tedesco - Posted on December 03, 2010
Great idea about redesigning the invoice! Thanks for the suggestion.
Mark H - Posted on November 03, 2010
I speak with too many end recipients who laugh about how they throw away the inserts that come with their phone or cable bill. For roughly the same cost you could redesign the bill into a transpromo piece and include the message right on the transactional document; increasing awareness, response, and cutting down on waste. Frankly, if it's personalized for the recipient it's just a much better way of up-selling/cross-selling your existing client.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
TJ Tedesco - Posted on December 03, 2010
Great idea about redesigning the invoice! Thanks for the suggestion.
Mark H - Posted on November 03, 2010
I speak with too many end recipients who laugh about how they throw away the inserts that come with their phone or cable bill. For roughly the same cost you could redesign the bill into a transpromo piece and include the message right on the transactional document; increasing awareness, response, and cutting down on waste. Frankly, if it's personalized for the recipient it's just a much better way of up-selling/cross-selling your existing client.