On Wednesday evening, Sonic received its first Gold Pyramid Award at the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Debbie Bostin and Seth Weiner's direct mail campaign with Columbia Books won top place in the category of Political and Legislative Program.
Read on to learn more about the project.
In 2008, Columbia Books acquired the US Congress Handbook (first published in 1974). The handbook is known as the go-to-guide for information on members of Congress, and it is often used as a tool for legislative advocates and a gift for political donors. The book can also be customized with a branded cover and custom page inserts.
In October, Columbia Books contacted Sonic for assistance with a direct mail campaign to grow sales of their custom handbooks. Facing competition from a nearly identical product, Columbia Books needed a creative solution that would highlight their handbook's superior features and get it directly into the hands of key decision makers.
The selection of items for this mail campaign was actually inspired by a past Sonic promotion. Two years ago, Sonic sent out reusable coffee mugs, water cups and personalized notes to top clients, Columbia Books included. Columbia Books was so thrilled with the gift that they chose to use the exact same items for the US Congress Handbook promotion.
75 boxes were sent out, each containing a set of drinkware, a sample handbook, a tailored letter signed by the sales rep, and red, white and blue paper filler. One week after the mailing, Columbia Books' sales reps conducted follow-up calls to secure meetings, close potential clients and renew existing clients.
So, was the promotion a success?
You bet! Columbia Books closed 28 new clients and achieved a renewal rate of 80% from existing clients. Of new clients, eight specifically attributed the gift as the most important factor to their order. Columbia Books was so pleased with the program that they entered the project for an industry award and won.
Wanted to let you know the mug and cup marketing campaign we did just won the SIPA (Specialized Information Publishers Association) award for Best Print Effort. When the award was presented, the presenter said that they decided not to award any "honorable mentions" for this category, because the winning entry was so definitively the best in its category (and yes, there were many other entries). So, thanks for all your help and feel free to tell your other customers the stuff you guys create is award winning!
Thank you, Columbia Books for the opportunity, and thank you, PPAI for the recognition!