Agency Squeezes Production Lessons From Blueberry Juice Mailing

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Dickinson Direct learned some valuable lessons while producing a business-to-business campaign for blueberry processer Jasper Wyman & Son that's scheduled to drop late this month.

The test will push Jasper Wyman's first-ever, 3-month-old juice product to 1,000 health-food retailers. An 8.5-ounce container of the wild blueberry drink will accompany a brochure and a call-to-action letter in a tube mailer.

To comply with the U.S. Postal Service regulation that says liquid containers must be wrapped in an absorbent material, Dickinson ordered NPS Corp.'s brown stuffing paper called Kimpak.

However, Dickinson then learned that United Parcel Service and DHL Worldwide Express do not require absorbent material for liquid items. And while Dickinson still plans to use the USPS to mail this piece, the agency began reconsidering its mail fulfillment strategy for follow-up campaigns involving the blueberry drink.

On top of possibly erasing expenses for the absorbent materials, Dickinson realized other benefits of using the private carriers, said Bruce McMeekin, director of integrated marketing services for the Braintree, MA, firm.

"We're likely to use UPS next time for Jasper Wyman because we are starting to believe that it will do a better job of breaking through the clutter," he said. "The delivery man brings the package to the store, and somebody has to sign for it. It will be right there in the targeted person's hands. Where with the postal service, we have to compete with the other campaigns in our industry in the mailbox."

Dickinson found that keeping lids on the mail tubes was another production challenge because the juice boxes weighed enough to break through the seals. The company bought a heavy-duty tape to apply to the lids so they would remain sealed during delivery.

The 1-pound tubes will get USPS' Priority Mail treatment at $3.50 per piece. The overall production of the campaign will run at least $11 per unit.

Titled "Get Healthy ... Get Energized ... Get Wild," the campaign aims to introduce stores to the health benefits of drinking wild blueberry juice. Wild blueberries are high in antioxidants and can work as an anti-cancer agent, according to the Agricultural Research Service.

The test used a list rental from infoUSA, Omaha, NE.

"We don't know how many retailers on the list are already carrying the product, but we are pretty sure that none of them are actively promoting it in their stores," McMeekin said. "Getting them to do just that is an integral part of the campaign."

The tube mailer will include a fax-ready order form meant to encourage retailers to request a promotional kit. The kit entails a case of wild blueberry juice, a cardboard placard advertising a free sample and detailing the drink's health benefits, as well as posters, aprons and a tablecloth endorsing the new brand.

"The drink isn't for kids per se, like most juices, but more aimed at adults," McMeekin said. "The materials in the kit reflect that intention."

Jasper Wyman, Milbridge, ME, plans to run a campaign of much greater volume in the fall or winter as long as it shows promise.

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