By Mindy Charski

Marketing to marketers is not, as you might imagine, always easy. But enterprise marketing software company Neolane ( has done well reaching other marketers since learning that chewing gum helps its message stick.

In advance of last fall’s pro baseball championship, Neolane sent out about 500 baseball-themed mailers to other marketers, touting the benefits of the company’s marketing automation capabilities. “Our real objective was [creating] another touchpoint to be able to create a dialogue, starting with a personal phone call as follow-up,” says Kristin Hambelton, senior director of marketing at Neolane, which caters to corporate marketers in high-tech, retail, entertainment and travel.

Given that its audience is both time-pressed and inundated with any number of other offers, the company decided that a colorful dimensional package with concise messaging was the ideal approach. “I think people are intrigued about opening something,” says Hambelton. “It’s this whole childhood mentality of ‘Oh, I got a little present. I want to open it.’”

The mailer, which Massachusetts-based Neolane created in-house with help from a freelance designer, arrived in a white box with a label that read, “Is your cross-channel marketing ready for the big leagues?” Inside were a pack of bubble gum and four postcards nestled in blue or orange crinkle-cut paper shreds — Neolane’s signature colors.

One card, measuring about 6.5 by 4 inches, featured a personalized greeting and overview from Hambelton along with a link to an online demonstration of the cross-channel marketing software. The other, slightly larger cards contained mini case studies that explained how major corporations have benefited from the software. The cards and a sticker on the gum package included a URL with more detailed versions of the case studies.

Of the 500 mailers sent, Hambelton says, 58 people clicked through to the software demo and 69 to the case studies. Since prospects were already in Neolane’s database, the firm used its own software to track them after the visits and had sales associates call them as the baseball championship series was unfolding. “This achieved our goals in terms of people visiting the Web site [and led to] two accounts moving further along the sales cycle,” she says.

Hambelton says she wasn’t surprised that the mailer worked, as Neolane learned a while ago that audiences respond well to its baseball-themed packages — and the chewing gum in particular.

Of course, other recipients were just as impressed with the message and the overall dimensional package. “You just don’t see it a lot,” says Hambelton, “so I think it makes you stand out.”

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