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Published on May 23rd, 2011 | by Janine Popick

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The Ultimate Direct Mail Lead-Generation Piece!

Let’s face it, we all get a lot of mail. Some we read and others get the circular file treatment, IF it even makes it to our desks. Hey, in my opinion there is still a place for direct mail – for some businesses it just makes sense, especially business-to-business where you have to generate leads for your sales teams.

Last week I got the CRAZIEST (and by crazy I mean BEST) piece of direct mail I EVER received in my life. It even tops the $50 bill I got from a company that “teaches managers how to manage” (and I sent back, read the story here), and the win-back piece I got from ADP with a lovely coffee cup and coffee grounds. It also tops the two piece mailer from American Express, one was the remote control helicopter and you got the actual remote control if you signed up for a credit card.

EAGIL Box

On this particular Monday morning there was a box sitting on my desk. Not a big box. The box was wrapped in tape (that was  pretty hard to get off by the way, I had to work it). So I started to talk to a colleague at work while I got the scissors out to open in.

The entire time I’m thinking “Why am I working so hard to open a box from someone I don’t even know?” Maybe it was because this company went the extra mile to send something to me in a “box”. Am I that shallow?

Finally I get the thing unwrapped to find a plain grey, nondescript box from a company called “EaGiL.” I’ve never heard of them, but now since I’ve worked so hard I’m intrigued to see what I’ve almost cut myself 3 times over.

I take off the top and find a letter with a business card on top, and something underneath wrapped with a sticker. (Pen shown for size and an attempt to show the VerticalResponse logo.)

The simple letter talked about how this company specialized in creating “Tax Free Dollars” and that enclosed were 100 examples of their work.

Eagil Box

At this point I’m still not quite sure what they do exactly. The gentleman who authored this letter also wrote that he’d be calling me in a few days to set up an appointment, which frankly I always think is a bit presumptuous. But OK, I’ll bite.

I unwrapped the contents underneath the letter and I saw a wrapped dollar bill. Huh? “Real freaking money,” I don’t think so. I pulled this dollar bill out to find it wasn’t a dollar bill, it was a STACK of dollar bills with a personalized wrap on it. The first thing I thought, “Are these really real?” So I smelled them and fanned them to find out they were!

I showed this piece to EVERYONE I knew and they were as equally as astonished as I was! One of our Customer Service leads Topher even noticed that not only were these brand-spanking new bills, they were sequential!

Impressive? Yes. And what a way to start off a Monday! Here are the questions everyone here at VR had:

  • Is it real money?
  • I wonder how many went out?
  • What’s the hook?
  • Are they crazy?
  • How many of those do they have to turn into customers before it pays off?
  • How can I get on that list?
  • What are you going to do with the money?
  • What about the mailrooms that chuck all “junk mail” before it gets to your desk? And if they do is that a federal offense?
  • Are you going to take the appointment?
  • What mailhouse did they trust to put this together?

Do you think that EaGiL is crazy? I dunno. I’ve just exposed them to about 30 people, then I wrote this blog about them exposing them to even more. And who knows, when they call I just might take the appointment, if nothing else, to get to the bottom of some of these questions.

Love to hear your thoughts!

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



8 Responses to The Ultimate Direct Mail Lead-Generation Piece!

  1. Janine says:

    Want crazy? I just got a follow up call from them SIX months after I got this package. As someone just said to me, you’re not even a cold lead, you’re liquid nitrogen!
    FAIL.

  2. Yes, after reading your post I did the same thing David Moore did and “googled” the company. My guess is that this piece didn’t go out to everyone, just owners of companies that reached a certain size in revenue and employees. They probably want to handle your company’s retirement package.
    They did do something interesting. How would your initial impression have changed and would you have opened the box if it had been labeled “Eagil Financial”?

  3. Pros says:

    While direct mail is one of the most expensive methods of lead generation it is so popular because it is dependable and gets results.Thanks for sharing this nice info!!!

  4. Sahail says:

    David
    I think it will lead to profitable customers.
    Take out the people they will never sell to, and you will have some customers so struck by the uniqueness of the event that they will become instant fans.
    It happens this way, make enough of an impact and you have people wanting to give you their money.
    Sahail

  5. Josh Malone says:

    Wow that is crazy and it must have cost them a fortune if they sent a similar piece to a number of individuals.

  6. Davidamoore says:

    Your post got me to Google the company and look at their website. Makes me think that they make a lot of money off clients if they can send out $100/piece. The piece was obviously attention getting, but does it convert into profitalbe customers?

  7. Heather says:

    There’s something that just feels desperate about this…and I’m not sure that I want to work with a company who is so desperate for my business.
    I also feel like EAGiL should have given you more of a reason to open the box. You mentioned that you questioned why you were opening it. Banking on a busy person’s curiousity is dangerous!

  8. Sahail says:

    Hello
    It is actually marketing at it’s best.
    The best marketing is highly disruptive, providing the prospective client with something that is interesting and relevant.
    Money is relevant to every last person on this planet.
    And I know the package gained your interest.
    My view? They have a huge budget and want the interest of a highly selective niche. Either that or their discounts literally transalate as ‘money in the customer’s pocket’.
    Let us know what happens. And take the appointment!
    Sahail

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