Whether you are experienced in planning and implementing direct mail campaigns or are looking to get started for the very first time – I thought it would be valuable to share with you a success story of a campaign that we launched here at Xerox. There are a ton of successful direct mail stories on the Internet, and each one undoubtedly achieved their success through different variations of techniques and strategies. While there is no one ingredient to really drive the response rate you are looking for in a campaign, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share with you what we did to help build awareness for the variety of substrates and specialty media that Xerox offers for our digital production products. Hopefully you are able to find useful information through this campaign that will help you meet your business objectives.

Clear Objective: Promote increased use of Xerox digitally optimized Paper and Specialty Media.
While the Xerox digital production line gets a lot of attention, we wanted to help shine some light on our line of paper and specialty media that have proven to help printers delight their customers and grow their business. But we realized that it is incredibly difficult to just talk about our offerings, and that it would be so much more powerful to show our selection. After all, being able to actually see, touch and feel the paper is what would have the biggest impact on the printers and designers we were targeting. We knew we would have to get these samples into their hands if we had any chance of building awareness and consideration of our substrate offerings.


Dead-On Strategy: Hook potential users with a hands-on experience.
With our objective in place, we now needed to figure out how to best communicate with our audience of printers and creative service specialists. We knew nobody would want to lug around a heavy book of swatches and samples, and even if they did – the cost to create this resource would be outside the framework of our budget. The program strategy therefore called for creating a cross-media campaign and a unique, easy-to-carry sample of Xerox substrates.

Using hand-crafted fly fishing flies as it’s theme, the program, “Perfect Presentation” showcased how Xerox’s wide portfolio of digital printing substrates was just right for any print project. The metaphor was also appropriate since, in fly fishing, the presentation of the fly to the fish is everything.

The campaign started with e-mails to more than 7,000 commercial printers and agency professionals. These messages included a link enabling recipients to click through to a website where they could provide information to receive a free, personalized, custom-selected substrate collection.

The smarter the bait, the harder the strike.
The fulfillment piece contained a pack of 10 index-card-sized substrate samples, each featuring an image of a hand-tied fly for game fish. Individual samples also included detailed specifications of the substrate and suggested key applications for its use.

The first sample, printed on 13.7 mil Xerox Polyester Paper, was personalized with the contact’s name and company. The last sample in the pack was printed on Digital Custom UltraMagnet, a special magnetized substrate. In between were substrates ranging from Xerox Uncoated Textured Linen 80# Cover, Digital Color Elite Silk, and many more. All 10 samples were connected by a reusable key ring that could be opened to add future samples.

The recipients were also encouraged to meet with a Xerox sales rep to learn more about the portfolio of digital printing substrates available and how enhanced digital print quality could help net more business.

Eye-Opening Results. To increase your catch, go fishing where the fish are.
Through this campaign, respondents received a clear and tangible message that a wide variety of Xerox paper and specialty media products are available and can increase the types of applications they can print on digital presses. The results themselves were extremely impressive:

• Over 24 percent of the 7,196 customers and prospects who received e-mails opened them.
• Of that number, 14.4 percent clicked through to the website offering the substrate pack.
• Of those visiting the site, 58 percent ordered personalized versions of the substrate sample packs.

I’d like to hear some of your thoughts on what’s worked well for you in your direct mail campaigns!

Submitted by Mike Madura, Manager, Xerox Production Marketing Communications