4 Rules We Broke Success Story


4 Rules We Broke on the Way to a 29% Response.

See how we converted 12% of our list, gleaned another 17% in warm leads and got sales and marketing on the same team.

Kelmscott is a partner in the true sense of the word. They not only offer amazing ideas, but they impact our business and our ability to get in front of the customer and increase our revenue.


In a recent multichannel campaign, the Kelmscott team did something shocking. We mailed LEGO® astronauts—dangling precariously in acrylic boxes—to CIOs, technology VPs and IT directors. If they took a meeting, we gave them a LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V rocket kit as a thank you. That’s right. An actual toy. To a senior-level business audience.

What happened next? The mailers spurred 18% of recipients to visit a custom landing page where they could request a meeting. Of course, not everyone replied right away, so we sent follow-up emails. Those achieved open rates as high as 42%.

It’s not an anomaly. We’ve also sent out crazy socks and said thank you with custom Converse All Star Chuck Taylor® Classic shoes, delivered fire starters and thanked respondents with their choice of adventure gift—all with great success. With every concept, we’ve fine-tuned the approach until the Saturn V took us virtually into the stratosphere.

Along the way, here are just a few of the marketing rules we’ve retired:

It’s depressing, but agencies have seen clients kill breakthrough concepts because “this is a business audience” more times than we can count. However, our team is big believers that people are still people when they go to work, and you can’t bore anyone into paying attention. Fortunately, this technology client was already looking to shake things up, and happy not to show pictures of server rooms and network cables to technology executives, even in the most artful manner. Instead, we tapped into prospects’ interests and challenges, and gave it all a fun, human spin. From the get-go, the head of sales exclaimed, “I’m in!” Not surprisingly, it worked.

While business envelopes and flat mailers are often diverted by assistants, intriguing dimensional mail—a box or triangular tube, a wooden crate, a lunchbox (we’ve sent them all)— finds its way onto even the most heavily polished desks. What’s more, unique concepts get shown around and talked about. One rule you can’t break—anything you send has to be interesting, and it has to be about the recipient. That means no mousepads featuring your own logo.

Hogwash. This midsized company wasn’t interested in burning money, but they did stay focused on ROI. While they could try to acquire new business by email alone, they knew they’d get exactly what they paid for—very little. It takes vision and guts to splash out on dimensional mailers and motivating thankyou gifts, but with a carefully honed list, these items more than pay for themselves.

To support the higher-cost components of our campaigns, we leverage intellectual capital, rather than cash. Digitally printed personalization, individual URLs and landing pages, email teasers and follow-ups that adhere to industry best practices, and strategic lead scoring don’t cost much more to execute but make a big difference on the bottom line.

You might be thinking, “Of course people replied for the thank you gift.” And human nature would suggest that some replied who weren’t interested in our client’s offering. But many were interested in partnering with the client—more than 50 meetings have taken place over multiple campaigns, 22 prospects have signed on. These investments have paid for themselves many times over.

Kelmscott’s insanely creative and experienced team integrates seamlessly with our marketing department. They bring us bold, unique ideas that have hugely impacted our sales and relationships with our clients.


To be fair, sales and marketing got along pretty well at this client, but that isn’t always the case. Still, we took some steps to bring them even closer. For example, marketing asked the sales reps who they wanted to target. In addition, rather than mailing thousands of pieces at once, we drop fewer pieces quarterly. That way, reps have time to follow through and the funnel is always being refilled.

One truly revolutionary approach to team harmony, however, came from the client’s VP of marketing, a former sales exec. For each prospect campaign, we held a lively kickoff and created an internal campaign based on the same theme. After the first one, the Director of Marketing shared, “The office has been buzzing...Everyone is pumped and sales is loving the campaign!”

Internal competitions, decorations, games and snacks get everyone on board, from sales and marketing to the front desk and accounting. After all, who can avoid getting excited about an astronaut-themed campaign when there are treats involved?

Increasing your response rates isn’t rocket science. (Apologies—we had to do it once.) It does, however, require a sound strategy, breakthrough creative and the ability to make the most of available technologies. See how Kelmscott’s innovative approaches can make a difference for you. Contact us today.