Hello Direct-Focus on Creative & Print Production (1,528 words)
That said, Burke's is no technology-shy creative department. Up-to-date technical capabilities such as digital proofing and computer-to-plate printing have enabled Hello Direct to stay at the leading edge of catalog production. But one printing capability in particular has enabled the catalog to rise above the pack and connect with its customers in a uniquely personal way.
Each quarter, Hello Direct gravure prints a new 48-page catalog body at R.R. Donnelley's Lynchburg, VA, plant. Then each month, a different 12-page cover wrap, offset-printed at Donnelley's Glasgow, KY, plant, is bound onto the catalog bodies and mailed. Housefile customers are mailed 12 times per year, each time getting a different cover wrap and its accompanying offers and promotions. Meanwhile, prospects are mailed once per quarter.
Here's where the versioning comes in. Product selections on the cover wraps change depending on the recipient segment. For example, during this past second quarter, cordless-headset buyers on the catalog's housefile got a catalog depicting an updated, light-weight cordless headset and featuring the cover copy "Cordless Grows Up."
Non-headset buyers were encouraged to "Save Your Neck!" and directed, via product benefits, to specific headsets featured within the catalog.
Finally, customers who previously bought a corded headset got a cover touting the benefits of upgrading to a higher-end headset and were offered a $50 rebate on any corded system.
Think this was a lot of work and expense for no great sales benefit? Think again. According to Faville, from this particular campaign, the company saw an 88-percent greater response rate from corded headset buyers vs. non-headset buyers. And contribution per thousand from corded headset buyers was 332 percent higher. Also, cordless buyers' response rates were up 248 percent, and contribution per thousand was an amazing 465 percent greater than non-headset buyers.
Says Faville: "The results are largely attributable to housefile segmentation. These cover versions were sent to a very targeted set of customers. People who already own headsets don't have to be educated on the value of these products. They already are believers and either buy a new one for themselves, or their colleagues, or they'll pass the catalog along to someone else with a recommendation to buy."