To reach a new market not familiar with its product, stand-up electronic vehicle maker T3 Motion mailed its first direct mail campaign this spring. The 3,200-piece May 2010 postcard mailing to college campus security officials, deans and chancellors across the country resulted in a 1% response rate, prompting the Costa Mesa, CA-based marketer to mount a follow-up campaign in September.
“Originally we wanted to go to public and private high schools, but that was too massive,” says Caroline Hunter, marketing associate. She notes that the late May timing of the first mailing likely lowered the potential response, since the school year was winding down, “so we just narrowed it down to colleges and universities.”
The vehicles — priced in the $10,000 range — are geared for law enforcement agencies. Previously, T3 used ads primarily in industry magazines to market the vehicles, resulting in “only lukewarm responses,” she says.
Direct mail appealed to the company because of the tactile nature of the medium and its higher probability of getting noticed. “The reason we decided to go with direct mail is that you really need to see [the vehicle] to know what it’s all about and how it can be utilized in different applications,” Hunter says, noting that e-mail wasn’t really considered.
“You look at [an e-mail's] subject line and in a few seconds you decide if you’re going to delete it,” she notes. “With the direct mail piece, it gets to your place of business and several people experience it and pass it around.”