How to launch a product with a budget less than a direct mail campaign

We recently completed our beta launch in Portland OR in late January of this year and it went well as far as I could tell.  In the first 3 months, we had connected around 350 tenants to landlords, property managers or brokers.  Tenants had found space using our site and leases were being executed.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The challenge for us, however, had been educating brokers on our new service and how it actually works for parties, the broker and the tenant.  

Nevertheless, when it came to launching in another city, I didn’t want to execute the same way.  What bugged me was despite the email campaigns in Portland highlighting our new service to brokers, I knew at best, only 20% of those emails were being opened.  We sent beautiful folders to every broker describing in detail how our service works but I was sure a large percentage of those went unopened and into the recycling or worse into the trash.  So, we began brainstorming other ideas.  Our goal – to reach every broker and explain exactly what it is we do and again, how OfficeSpace.com can help them.

This past week, we announced the launch of our new service, starting in Denver, while we were at an industry trade show.  Instead of sending out direct mail, we delivered customized gourmet cupcakes complete with an edible OfficeSpace.com logo to every brokerage in greater Denver – that was over 600 cupcakes in total.

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I reasoned even though it’s an edible item, certainly people would remember who gave it to them.  We built a campaign around our delicious delivery, building anticipation through our social media channels.  We created postcards to go with our cupcakes letting everyone know we were celebrating our birthday in Denver – and the cupcakes were free, just like our service.  We encouraged our recipients to use social media to tell us how they liked our gift and we waited.

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I can already definitively say this campaign was much more successful and cost-effective than our first and here’s why: when we began to make our follow- up calls, people wanted to talk to us.  They wanted to tell us that they liked our clever idea and more importantly, they wanted to know what the company was doing.

If we could be this creative just to get their attention, what would that mean for the types of products we could create to help them? We achieved what direct mail could not: a captive audience (with full tummies to boot!).

Susie Algard
CEO & Founder
OfficeSpace.com
follow us on twitter: @officespace_com
follow me on twitter: @susiealgard

Comments
2 Responses to “How to launch a product with a budget less than a direct mail campaign”
  1. Very creative launch campaign! Know you’ll knock them dead in Denver.

  2. Thanks Dominic, we’re working the phones still and following up with in-meetings whenever we can.

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