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GTE Wireless is using direct mail to introduce it prepaid wireless service to customers beyond its primary target of the past, individuals with checkered credit histories.

Georges & Murray Direct, Raleigh, N.C., tested four specific audiences who might be interested in prepaying for cellular service.

The results were good: Two of the four packages pulled a 2.25% response, and the conversion rate of those callers into paying customers was up in the range of 16% to 25%.

The direct mail packages "hit hard on the emotional needs and benefits of the product to the particular segment targeted," said agency President Chrysanthe Georges.

Four GTE Wireless mailers went out in September, after an initial test mailing late last July. The mailings were targeted to young professionals, active seniors, parents of teens and college-age children, and nurses who work at night in remote regions of the country rather than major cities. The nurses mailing and the parents of teens mailing outperformed the other two, and will be revisited in 1999.

GTE expanded its segmentation in 1999, the agency said, sending mailings last month to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, parents of newborns and known

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