Aug 03, 2000
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SmallBusinessDepot.com (SBDepot.com) offers info on government contracts (a potentially lucrative play for small businesses) and other exclusive news geared for small biz. The site was launched in January, but SBDepot.com started working on its database of names well in advance. Don Mazella, co-founder, executive VP and publisher, explains how SBDepot.com used print newsletters to gather an opt-in database.
Provide four different quarterly print newsletters to airline shuttles run by Continental Airlines, American Airlines and US Air. The eight page newsletters were on topics of interest to the small businessperson. The newsletters were available at major shuttle hubs such as New York, Boston and Washington, DC and were placed in the seatback pocket on the plane to start and in the airport waiting rooms. Each issue held cards with an offer to opt-in for a free print and/or email subscription. SBDepot.com paid an agency for the privilege of distributing the newsletters on the airlines.
The campaign reaped tens of thousands of names. ďIt was a hell of a good way to reach an influential audience,Ē comments Mazella. Distribution of the newsletters on Continental ďreally workedĒ as the airline seemed to be better at attracting the small business traveler. American was the runner up with US Air placing third. In fact, SBDepot.com had to do multiple print runs of the newsletters as they proved to be so popular! The high quality content of the newsletters was the reason most subscribers signed up, Mazella believes (SBDepot.comís website content is exceptionally well-written. Itís all original reporting, not rehashed wire service stories. Check it out!)
$13 per new opt-in subscriber.
Providing target reading material to a captive audience of shuttle travelers has attracted other companies to try to same tactic. Rather than compete in a crowded market, SBDepot.com is now looking to launch a major marketing campaign utilizing online, direct mail and public relations in the near future.