We've all received direct mail promising unbelievable prizes inside, only to be disappointed when we opened it and found a hitch. However, one hitchless contest that's on the up and up and needs no explaining is a state-run lottery.

Andy Juster and Scott Pilato, cofounders of $2-million-a-year Sunny Waterbeds & Accessories Inc., located in Orlando, decided to make good marketing use of their state lottery's credibility. They stuffed lottery tickets into mailings they sent to their top 100 retailers to announce a new line of bedroom furniture. The mailings specified when Sunny Waterbeds would follow up with a call. "Lottery ticket enclosed" was printed on the envelope.

The net result? When Sunny Waterbeds called a week later to announce the winning number, 70% of the prospects took the call and listened to its pitch. Usually 15% take the follow-up call on a mailing. "We were surprised," says Juster. "You wouldn't expect these people, who are really important, to hold on to a $1 lottery ticket for a week."

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