A full-scale attack for Pitney Bowes

When Pitney Bowes launched its new Paragon Mail Processing System in the fall of 1992, direct mail and telemarketing were two of the main tools in a multi-media campaign.The mailing package had two major tasks: a) to generate qualified sales leads...

When Pitney Bowes launched its new Paragon Mail Processing System in the fall of 1992, direct mail and telemarketing were two of the main tools in a multi-media campaign.

The mailing package had two major tasks: a) to generate qualified sales leads from the target audience of 7,000 Pitney Bowes customers with large mailing machines; and b) to pave the way for intense in-house telemarketing designed to boost response even further from this important group.

Print ads

To increase awareness of Paragon among the larger business community, Pitney Bowes also used print ads and news releases in Canadian business media.

A national tv campaign followed in the spring of 1993.

Direct mail was chosen as the primary lead-generating source because of its ability to target and speak directly to a handpicked audience of the best prospects for the product.

It could ‘put itself in the audience’s shoes,’ so to speak, and deliver the key benefits in language they would easily understand.

The Paragon mail processor is the new top-of-the line mailing system from Pitney Bowes that dramatically increases mailroom productivity.

It was designed by the company’s engineers after extensive research among their high-volume mail users. It took several years to develop and incorporated more than 120 new patents.

Paragon automatically handles every step of mail processing.

It accepts batches of envelopes of different sizes and weights, sealed or unsealed. In one continuous pass, it feeds, weighs, meters and stacks the finished mail – at speeds of up to 240 pieces per minute.

It can save a mailroom up to two hours of mail processing time each day.

In addition, Paragon’s built-in accounting system tracks each piece of mail and produces reports with data on individual departments or accounts, postal classes and services used.

It lets the mailroom charge back by department or account, or even add servicing surcharges.

Despite the fact that the target audience was professional mailroom managers or supervisors, the direct mail launch package had several obstacles to overcome.

Many mailroom supervisors had grown up with electro-mechanical mailroom equipment and had to be educated on the benefits of electronic technology.

Productivity gains

Paragon is often more expensive than the equipment it replaces. The mailing package had to clearly show the productivity and profitability gains and other major benefits resulting from its speed, versatility and ease of use.

In recessionary times, equipment budgets are tight, and capital outlays – whether for purchase or lease – have to be fully justified.

Our creative strategy was to use a large, intrusive mailing package.

Paragon was positioned as a breakthrough product using the theme of ‘mailroom revolution.’ This was supported by favorable quotes on Paragon from Canadian business newspapers and specialized u.s. business publications read by the audience.

Although the mailing was aimed at a knowledgeable audience, its language was simple, straightforward and benefit-oriented for easy reading.

We also used a large photo of the Paragon with callouts showing each of the main functions, plus a summary of how Paragon meets the specific requests made by mailroom managers during Pitney Bowes’ years of research studies.

The mailing package drew the first wave of responses.

It was followed by an intensive phone campaign run by the Pitney Bowes in-house telemarketing group under Adele Maizels, manager, Pitney Bowes direct marketing centre.

Telemarketing to non-responders began two to three weeks after the mail drop.

Requests

The objective was to get requests for personal sales calls from Pitney Bowes mailing system specialists.

Paragon usually requires a multilevel sell within a company – that is, buying influences can range from the mailroom to the head of finance. This often results in a long sales closing cycle.

Results from the campaign were excellent.

Total responses from the mail and telemarketing combined were two-and-a-half times the target objective.

Closed sales

By mid-summer, Pitney Bowes sales staff had closed a significant number of sales, with many more orders pending for the balance of this year.

Robert Dinning is a senior consultant with Hull Direct Marketing in Toronto.