Creator of the Sleep Number Bed
After years of trying to penetrate the retail bedding market with its Air Support Sleep System, Select Comfort was $800,000 in debt and had made virtually no progress. Then Select Comfort hired me to design a direct response marketing plan specifying the strategies and tactics to sell the product directly to consumers. The plan was presented to venture capital firms and $2,500,000 was raised to launch a comprehensive direct marketing program from scratch.
In four months, I had a complete direct marketing campaign up and running: print ads were created and placed in a dozen leading publications, TV spots were produced and tested, a series of mailers and a sales video were completed, an inbound telemarketing department was staffed and trained, a computer tracking and database system was in operation, and the company was ready to take inquiries and orders. I directed and managed the entire start-up campaign and created the foundation for a major direct marketing operation.
Since Select Comfort’s successful launch, I have been closely involved in the company’s direct marketing. I spearheaded the successful spot TV and infomercial campaigns, developed new radio opportunities, and fine tuned the telemarketing sales techniques and strategies. On the database side, I pioneered the backend resurrection program that increased the net yield for all inquiries by nearly 10%.
Since inception, Select Comfort has sold over 6,000,000 beds and become the nation’s largest bedding retailer in dollars with a 14% dollar market share. Over $5 billion dollars of Select Comfort Sleep Number beds have been sold. Today Select Comfort advertises in hundreds of publications and on TV and radio stations each month generating hundreds of thousands of inquiries. From six employees in 1990, the company has grown to over 2000. Sales have exceeded $750,000,000 in yearly sales. Select Comfort has continued to grow by leveraging its traditional direct marketing strengths to support its retail and online activities. With over 400 company owned and operated retail stores and an online store, Select Comfort uses direct marketing as a profit center and as self liquidating, accountable advertising to drive retail traffic.
In 2009, I am working with Select Comfort to re-invigorate its print and TV advertising campaigns. I am writing and producing print ads and short and long form TV productions and helping design the media tests. The goal is to get the company back to a strong direct response foundation that drives inquiries which convert to customers at retail, online, and direct.