It's always risky to move away from a promo that's been generally successful to try and reach that next level, but our 2016 Valentine's card appears to be a great decision. I designed the direct mail piece below based on a team decision with our buyers to forgo our traditional plush animal offer and appeal to millennial moms with oversized mugs with love sentiments. The higher perceived value of the product and the cross-seasonal design (not "just" a Valentine's Mug) seems to be paying off and redemption and sales figures are tracking ahead leading up to the holiday!
In my current position as Marketing Director for Kirlin’s Hallmark, I am responsible for multiple forms of advertising every day. This gallery showcases a small sample of Direct Mail projects and some of the results achieved through each program. Each of these items requires collaboration with the executive board here at Kirlin’s, communication to 75 retail store managers and district managers to execute each promotion, and the highest attention to detail to make sure our customer communications are accurate and effective. I then track promotions throughout, respond to changes and report on results at the conclusion of each promotional period.
The postcard pictured here drew a return of 14.8% and an average transaction over double what we expect at this time of year. Data-driven targeting boosted this postcard's impact to create almost a half million dollars in sales.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere
As you can see, working for Hallmark necessitates not only managing the Kirlin's independent brand, but also maintaining strict brand standards for all of our licencees.
This mailing was delivered to 40,000 major Keepsake Ornament customers based on our CRM data. It received a 12.3% return and an Individual Average Transaction of over $178. This was an improvement of over $10 in each transaction from the previous year, and 1.2% increase in overall return. This accounted for over $866K in sales.
The aggressive marketing and targeting of this year's event lead to double-digit product line increases for Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.
For whatever reason, there are always a number of customers who are loyal to our stores throughout the first part of the year but do not think of us for Christmas gifts. We call these "opportunity customers" and actively seek ways to remind them that Christmas is what Hallmark stores do best!
This card is based on the strategy of targeting people who have spent at least $50 in our stores during the year but have not purchased anything in the time between our Open House (Nov. 1) through Christmas. We mail out the high value and low hurdle offer of $5 off a purchase of $10 or more, and the results are fantastic.
This past year, this card received a response rate of over 11%, and in spite of the low $10 purchase requirement, the average transaction (before the $5 discount is applied) is $34.10. Since these are customers who would not have shopped otherwise, this is one of our more valueble traffic drivers of the year.
Mother's Day Catalog
This catalog-style flyer mailed flyer featured 50 items and 3 perforated coupons in a 6X9 inch finished size fold-out flyer.
This flyer showcases my ability to take a large group of somewhat unrelated items and group them in a coherent piece with a limited amount of space. I negotiated with vendors to bring this project in at just 1 cent per piece more than the equivalent number of flat postcards would have cost. This allowed me to show a larger breadth of the lines available for Mother's Day.
80,000 pieces were mailed at a cost of $36,000. The coupon return rate was 12% which is double industry average direct mail coupon return of 6%.
*Note: Blue vertical lines are non-printing and are showing how the piece was folded.
Full Inside Spread
VIP Postcard Mailing
The VIP Postcard is an annual mailing in early November. It's sent to only our best customers according to our data and has one of our best Individual Average Transactions for the year.
In 2013, I redesigned our mailer in a new postcard format that not only maintained the efficacy of our primary offer but also added additional tiered offers at higher price points. The result of this mailing was an Individual Average Transaction of over $85, which is well over our average without this offer of around $35.
The reformatting in 2013 was noticed by some other chains, and several approached me for guidance on how to execute my program design in their market.
In 2015, I jumped in as Campaign Director for US House of Representatives Campaign for candidate Rob Mellon.
As Campaign Director for an underfunded and non-branded campaign, the challenge was crafting a succinct message and getting out a message in the face of very long odds. I created the "Responsible Leadership at the Ready" tag to highlight my candidate's military background and to contrast him to the outgoing congressman who was leaving under potential federal charges. The secondary portion of my campaign strategy was "10 to the Polls." This campaign was highly targeted to likely voters and union representatives in the area. The campaign did not have the funding to execute large scale mailings and advertisements, so 10 to the Polls was an effort to increase word of mouth about the vote.
This page displays a small sampling of the media collateral I designed for the campaign including mailings, informational flyers, website modules, and some of our endorsements. Views shown on this page are those of Rob Mellon, not necessarily myself.
Campaign Duties - Crafted social media strategy, updated and managed website, designed and deployed emails - Scheduled all media requests, coached and crafted speech messaging, wrote press releases and made all media buys - Graphically designed all media including donor requests, direct mail and yard signs - Created the momentum to help my candidate come from behind to win the primary with 60% of the vote. - Articulated my candidate’s positions in written questionnaires from media to gain endorsements from Chicago Tribune, Peoria Journal Star and Springfield Register - Secured a nearly-scuttled NBC debate which regionally preempted prime-time TV by creating media buzz and pressure Garnered 11% more votes than any democrat in the district in 80 years despite being outspent 1200:1 (lost election)
Kameleon Market Test
This postcard is an example of a market test. We had acquired a store from another owner and the store's market seemed like it could support a higher-end jewelry line like Kameleon. This card was mailed to their top customers to test response rate during the holidays. The transactions with this card averaged over $240 and were strong enough to expand the line and to consider growing the line in select locations for our chain.
One of our most important categories of print items are our Bounceback coupons. As the name implies, the goal of this piece is to encourage a second visit by a customer sooner than they otherwise might have returned.
Our data shows that Gold Crown (loyalty club) customers visit 3 times a year and spend an average of $15-35 each visit, depending on the season. Our busiest times of year are Christmas, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, in that order. Easter is a "minor season" for our stores and overall visits are fewer and transactions are at that low end around $15 each. Customers likelihood of making a visit is lower at Easter than during our major seasons.
So the strategy with this card is simple. We pass this offer out to customers during our very high traffic Valentine's season and encourage the customers to make a visit in the lower-traffic Easter season. The bucket, with a value of $7.99 (COG $2.30) is a great perceived value at the "Free with a $20 purchase" level, which, as you'll recall is about $5 over the expected transactions that we have during that time frame. Historic data shows that people who redeem this card and respond to the reasonable hurdle of $20 will actually, on average, spend about $26-$27.
So if this card is successful, we can expect both increased traffic and increased transactions. We're also increasing our loyalty for minor season shopping.