L2's movie poster campaign reels them in

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L2, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company that provides on-demand, personalized marketing campaign management solutions, has always been a technology company first and foremost.

However, L2 realized it had an identity problem when executives in the company kept hearing the same comment again and again. People would say, "Wow, you guys have a great product, but I've never heard of you."

L2's FUSE Web-based technology is a design and printing application for companies interested in sending out personalized marketing materials to their customers and prospects. The technology integrates easily with internal CRM and database systems.

"We were a very strong technology company with a strong operations background, but we had very little marketing experience of our own," said Wrich Printz, president-CEO of L2.

"We've been successful in launching high-end programs for Fortune 100 companies, but we hadn't been marketing ourselves," he added.

L2 decided to use FUSE, its own technology, to help build the marketing program, and began to develop ideas for a direct mail campaign that would break through the clutter.

Printz said the campaign had to have a compelling initial communication in order to begin a dialogue with prospects. Personalization was also important to L2, but it needed to be done well. "We wanted the personalization to be significant without being creepy," Printz said.

Because its primary customers are sales, marketing and account management executives, the creative also needed to impress what was most likely a jaded audience.

L2 developed direct mail pieces that were a take-off of classic movie posters in the hopes that they would be something people would hang on their cubicle walls.

The company mailed two versions of the 14-by-20-inch posters to a segment of attendees of the Direct Marketing Association's DM Days Conference in June in New York. L2 sent posters to 1,768 executives 12 days before the conference to keep the pitch top of mind close to the show date.

"We wanted it fresh in their minds right around the time they were walking into the show," Printz said.

Marketers received one poster and salespeople another. Marketing executives received a poster called "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Marketing World," an obvious homage to Stanley Kramer's "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," a 1960s madcap comedy with an all-star cast.

A film noir-style poster was created for sales executives. They received "A View To a Customer," an homage to Ian Fleming's James Bond tale, "A View To a Kill."

Both posters drove prospects to a personalized landing page with an offer of a free DVD they could pick from among 30 movie titles available, as long as they scheduled a demo of the FUSE product at DM Days New York.

L2 personalized the campaign in two ways. First, the customer's full name appeared on the poster itself on the "Starring In" credit across the top. Also, the posters drove prospects to a unique URL that included that person's name.

L2 received an 18% response rate, or 326 visitors to the URL within five days as a result of the direct mail piece. Of those, 41 people (13%) elected to stop by the booth for the five-minute product demo. Of those, 36 people showed up at L2's booth. The remaining five no-shows were contacted by phone and e-mail for a post-conference, online demo.

The high response has lead to many deals for L2, according to Printz.

"We have one signed contract and [have] two other people with contracts [pending]," he said; and the fourth quarter may bring in more.

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