Mercedes-Benz is using 22-cent postcards to sell its new $100,000 S-class sedan.
The mailing is part of a direct marketing campaign designed to change the automaker's snooty image.
In the past, Mercedes-Benz's minimal marketing message for its flagship was: Here is the new S class. For those who can afford it, come and get it.
But last month, the automaker reached out by mailing 750,000 postcards to potential S-class buyers asking if they wanted more information about the full-sized luxury sedan.
If they answered yes, prospective buyers were then asked how they wanted to receive the information - on the Internet, through the mail or both.
'We consider this the next generation of our relationship marketing campaign,' said Bill Hurley, manager of new media and relationship marketing at Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc. 'Our direct mail and Internet introduction begins a dialogue with people interested in the S class.'
The mailing went to current S-class owners, owners of competitive cars and people who can afford a top-end luxury sedan but do not own one.
The direct marketing campaign will last until the S class goes on sale in the United States in March.
Mercedes-Benz built an S-class preview site within its U.S. Web site last month. Prospects can go to the site to look at images of the S class and learn about its safety, performance and features.
And prospective buyers need not receive unwanted information. For instance, if a potential customer wants performance information on the S class, that is all that's sent via e-mail or regular mail.
Said Hurley: 'The more we tailor the communication to the prospect based on their feedback, the more excited the customer gets at a faster pace.'