Contact Campaigns: Contact Campaign Gallery
Part Three in a series of three articles on contact campaigns by Stu Heinecke.

(If you have not yet read the first two parts of this article, go to: Part One: The Antidote To Low Response Rates and Part Two: Contact Campaign Basics)

Noted direct response and contact marketing expert, published cartoonist and creator of many record-breaking campaigns using personalized cartoons.

Last week, I explained the basics of contact campaigns in Part Two of this series, and the week before, Part One explained how a contact campaign can cure the low response rates many direct marketers are experiencing. In this final installment, we examine a number of exemplary and successful contact campaigns. Some are award winners, others simply terrific examples of how to break through to important prospects with a bit of imagination and a desire to stand out.

Memphis_sampleMemphis Convention and Visitor’s Bureau/Meeting Planner Contact Campaign
Their highly successful “Lost Wallet” campaign arrived in a plain brown wrapper, telling the recipient, “We found your wallet.” Inside, a note extolled the virtues of Memphis as a meeting site, while cards inserted in the wallet provided free samplings of the local fare. Subsequent efforts have used full-sized guitar cases filled with SWAG and emblazoned with bumper stickers highlighting the city’s most famous attractions. With 500 cases mailed so far, the city has been showered with thousands of new visitors and millions in additional revenues.


Ticor_exampleTicor Title Insurance/Appointment-Generation Campaign
Ticor was having difficulty getting their reps in to see their top prospects. So they commissioned a campaign based on a greeting card format, with one of our personalized cartoons on the front, and a message from the rep asking for an appointment. The results? The reps reported that fully 100% converted to appointments. Hand-addressed greeting cards are an excellent way to cut through the clutter — without breaking the bank.


Structural_graph_exampleStructural Graphics/Custom Magazine Contact Piece With each sale of a pop-up magazine ad worth $250K or more, Structural Graphics, Inc. of Essex, CT, decided to produce a magazine of their own, Lift. Inside appeared various editorial features explaining the benefits of pop-up advertising, plus an entire portfolio of actual examples and case studies. At a cost of $25 each, they’re not cheap. But as Structural Graphic’s VP Marketing Michael Dambra points out, “They’re getting us in to see advertisers we haven’t been able to crack. That’s priceless.”


Shredded_loanDallas Home Loans, Inc./Lead Follow-up Campaign Here is a group that really uses contact campaigns effectively. Get on their hot prospect list and you’re likely to receive talking tubes or their DVD in a DVD player as some of their campaign pieces. Pictured to the right is their “Shred Package,” which shows up in an overnight pouch, containing a large hand-addressed envelope, a shredded loan application and a letter from an embarrassed executive assistant. The letter explains that a temp accidentally shredded a pile of completed loan applications and asks the recipient — who hadn’t actually applied yet — to come in and “re-complete their application to be on the safe side.”


dino_exampleContinental Resources/Appointment Campaign Continental Resources enjoyed a 30% response to their contact campaign directed to IT managers. The piece contained a remote-control toy dinosaur, with the necessary remote unit and batteries omitted. The letter inside explained that the recipients’ enterprise systems were in danger of becoming outmoded dinosaurs if they didn’t keep up with rapidly advancing upgrades and technology — and promised to deliver the missing remote and batteries when the prospect met with the sales rep. Promising an essential piece or compelling reward can be an extremely effective tactic for generating important sales appointments.


relaxation_kit_examplePorro, LLC/Appointment Campaign Created by noted marketing guru and author of Maximum Marketing Minimum Dollars, Kim T. Gordon sought to make her client stand out to overly stressed PR and advertising execs with this “Managing Stress Kit.” Inside the black corrugated box were instructions for the kit’s use, which included inflating the enclosed pillow and lighting the aroma-therapy candle, ultimately leading to the final step, “Call Jeff Porro and blissfully enjoy results from potent copy and persuasive materials.”


Roker_sample_no_letterMagazine Launch/Celebrity Contact Piece You can’t just call Al Roker and expect to get through, even if you’re offering a cover story on a new magazine. So we used this 10″ x 22″ quarter-inch thick foam core postcard to get his attention. The giant postcard featured a hand-personalized cartoon strip about Mr. Roker appearing as a guest chef, while a pouch containing our invitation and information about the new magazine was attached to the rear. Delivery was via UPS Next Day Air. Did it work? Objective achieved — and then some.


(This is Part Three in a series of three articles by the author about contact campaigns. Be sure to read Part One, Contact Campaigns: The andidote to low response rates and Part Two, Contact Campaign Basics. If you have a contact campaign success story and would like to be included in later articles, please contact the author below).

For more information, contact Stu Heinecke at [email protected] or visit