Mail Designer Sees Fortune in Cookies

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Structural Graphics, Essex, CT, is getting direct marketers to open their fortune cookies.

The company, which produces three-dimensional high-impact mail pieces, is showcasing its creative talents by sending a creative mailing with a fortune-cookie theme to 25,000 direct marketing executives.

The four-week, nationwide, business-to-business campaign will drop its last 2,000 pieces this week.

Structural Graphics specializes in creating direct mail pieces that pop up, light up, move or make noise when opened. The front of its self-promotional mail piece, declares "Now, you can create your own good fortune," and when opened, a fortune cookie rests on top of a plate. A fortune personally addressed to the recipient sticks out of the cookie. The fortune states that a Structural Graphics account manager holds the key to the recipient's fortune and lists an account manager's name. The "lucky numbers" on the fortune make up the company's phone number.

Using its internal database Structural Graphics obtained 11,000 names for the mailing and gathered another 14,000 from a purchased list.

"The people we wanted to identify with the mailing were those who are involved in the decision making process of creating direct mail campaigns," said president Mike Maguire. "We contacted people from both the advertising agencies, such as account managers and production people, and the advertisers themselves."

The internal list has yielded a 3.7 percent response rate so far, compared to a 2.2 response rate from the outside list.

Structural Graphics segmented the list and designed a piece for its 5,000 best prospects that made a "Chinese gong noise" when opened. The response rate among those recipients was double that of the inhouse list. Maguire said that even though this segment of the list represented its best prospects, pieces with sound chips in them "tend to yield the best results anyway."

The pieces directed the recipient to read the fortune and then fill out the reply card to receive a box of actual fortune cookies containing more information on Structural Graphics. They will also receive three to five samples of pieces created by Structural Graphics this year.

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