Marketing franchisee wins international award from chain


A Grand Rapids-based marketing franchisee with a direct mail focus has received an international marketing award from its franchise for a newly launched campaign to help it grow its client base.

Allegra Marketing was honored recently with the 2014 Marketing Trailblazer Gold Award by Alliance Franchise Brands network.

Allegra is locally owned and operated and a member of the global Alliance Franchise Brands network, linking nearly 600 locations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

The competition was open to Alliance Franchise Brands’ international network of nearly 300 marketing and print communications providers in the U.S. and Canada.

“The entire team at Allegra in Grand Rapids has demonstrated a keen understanding of marketing best practices,” said Jessica Eng, VP of marketing, Alliance Franchise Brands

Campaign response rate

The award recognized the company’s self-promotional campaign, "Marketing Under One Roof."

The campaign features three direct mail pieces that drive recipients to a website to find out more information about Allegra Marketing’s full line of services.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, a typical prospecting direct mail campaign will garner a response rate of between 1 and 3 percent.

Allegra’s campaign returned an 18-percent response rate.

Service transformation

The campaign, inspired by Allegra marketing specialist Roberta Tepper, was developed to communicate a clearer picture of how Allegra’s marketing services have evolved in the last seven years to serve not only the printing needs of clients, but also their strategic marketing needs.

Ron and Bev Vetter founded Allegra Marketing in 1979 as a printing company.

Their son, Eric Vetter, along with his wife, Becky Vetter, and his brother, Craig, and sister-in-law, Jennifer Vetter, now own and operate the business, which has been transformed into a marketing services provider.

“We operate like a business’ marketing department, providing solutions to marketing problems that a company might have, like trying to grow more sales,” Eric Vetter said.

The company still retains a large number of printing clients in West Michigan. Vetter said Allegra has more than 1,200 active print-related clients.

But he said he has been approached more often by business-to-business and business-to-consumer firms seeking direct mail marketing campaigns and cross-media marketing campaigns, which use email and print.

"Marketing Under One Roof"

The advent of these increased services led to the "Marketing Under One Roof" campaign.

“It is meant to help our prospects and clients understand that we are more than just a printer,” Vetter said.

He said the campaign also shows off the firm’s creative abilities with direct mail.

The campaign uses what is known as a generic URL, or GURL, which allows recipients of the direct mail piece to go online, visit the URL provided and register for more information.

“This is primarily a print campaign, (but) our goal is to get them to go to the website and request more info or an appointment,” Vetter said.

Every two weeks, Allegra compiles a list of 25 businesses to reach out to with its direct mail campaign.

Vetter said the campaign has been in effect for the past year, and more than 100 companies have received the "Marketing Under One Roof" materials.

“Our response rate was phenomenal, and we were able to generate a lot of additional business and new clients because of it,” he said.

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