When the owner and management team at Re‐Bath of Rochester, the New York‐based bathroom remodeler and retailer, was looking to promote their new product line, they knew they had something appealing to bring to market, but weren’t sure exactly how to reach the product’s niche audience. The company’s tub‐to‐shower conversion with built‐in seats sits just four inches off the floor, making it most suitable for those with physical challenges and for the elderly. Jim Whalen, owner, admits that the product wasn’t for everyone, “We wanted to take a rifle shot at reaching people who needed it.”
Who would that be? Whalen’s target audience was those over 70 years old, with certain income levels — who can afford to buy the tub‐to‐shower conversion, and in suburban locations — where a bathroom is big enough to fit the product. Or, of course, those who have physical challenges that prevent them from stepping in and out of a traditional shower or bath. The task was specific, and since Jim and his team had only done very manual mailings before‐‐laboriously converting their own data into labels for postcards‐‐they wanted to call in a data provider to help Re‐Bath target and execute.
Whalen turned to Google hoping that a keyword search would help him find who was out there to help. He wanted specific, targeted data at an attractive price. “Cost is always an issue, especially lately, so I knew that I wanted a company that was cost competitive. I also needed it to be a good list. In the end, I’d rather have good data at a competitive price than lousy data at a cheap price,” Whalen says. He knew that if he was going to make an investment and pay a list provider that he wanted the data to be valuable. “I needed data that I just couldn’t get otherwise,” says Whalen.
It was crucial to the success of the product launch that he reach potential customers either in their 70’s, with high income, living in suburban houses in the New York State area, or he had to reach those with physical challenges. And he didn’t want to send materials to households that couldn’t necessarily spend an average of $5,000 on the tub‐to‐shower conversion. This need to hit his target is what made him choose USADATA. “I felt comfortable that they could provide exactly what I needed,” Whalen says, “I had never done this before, and I’m glad I found USADATA. They’re outstanding.” Working with USADATA proved to be an easy and painless process. After an initial phone call, Whalen was able to get the data he needed, delivered how he needed it, and fast. He bought a targeted list of 140,000 names and addresses‐‐35,000 of which would be targeted for the tub‐to‐shower conversion; the others would receive marketing materials for other Re‐Bath products — and has since ordered an additional 40,000. “Alan [at USADATA] did excellent work for me. Very professional and very responsive.”
Whalen’s initial 140,000‐household mailing has since generated over 600 requests for more information; 150 confirmed sales of Re‐Bath products, 50 of which have been sales of the tub‐to‐shower conversion (each an average of $5,000) for Re‐Bath of Rochester. While Whalen spends 50% of his marketing dollars on television advertising in the Rochester area, he finds the 15% of his budget allocated to direct mail to yield the most significant “closing” rate. “Direct mail has, by far, the highest closing rate. We’re able to convert 25‐30% of legitimate inquiries into sales,” Whalen says, “It’s an absolutely critical element of our marketing. We do some TV and radio, but you can’t target your audience. You don’t know who’s seeing it. With my postcard mailing, I knew exactly who was getting it.”
The best part? Whalen raves not only about how much response Re‐Bath has gotten from using the USADATA list, but how little-returned mail, too. “If I get 5 returns on a 50,000 mailing, that’s a lot!”
As the business climate changes and Whalen sees other business owners minimizing marketing efforts, he wants to press ahead. He argues, “This is the perfect time to establish identity and brand while others back off.” So with the help of USADATA, Re‐Bath of Rochester will be sending another 20,000 pieces of mail per week for next 7 weeks and then will call on USADATA for help with their next campaign in January 2009.