Clif Bar Reaches Women With Friend-to-Friend Mailing

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Clif Bar Inc., a maker of all-natural energy bars and nutrition foods, has begun a direct mail campaign based on the U.S. Postal Service's Friend-to-Friend Mail Service.

Friend-to-Friend lets direct marketers provide customers with postage-paid advertiser cards that can be sent to any third party, making it easier for advertisers to reach more consumers about their services.

Under the program, an advertiser deposits funds in a First-Class Mail permit account to cover return postage for a percentage of the Friend-to-Friend card. Each Friend-to-Friend card is mailed at the First-Class Mail single-piece rate.

The recipient mails the cards -- which include a Planet Code barcode that identifies the advertiser -- to any third parties, such as friends or family. When the USPS gets them, it sprays Postnet barcodes on the cards, which, combined with the Planet Code, give the card a unique identifier that enables the USPS to bill the advertiser after the piece is scanned. The USPS scans the barcodes, processes the cards and delivers them.

Every two weeks, the USPS informs marketers of how many cards were scanned and the account is charged.

Berkeley, CA-based Clif Bar first handed out the Friend-to-Friend postcards during a stop at Oprah Winfrey's "Live Your Best Life" tour June 16 in Minneapolis. The tour offers participants, most of whom are female, health and well-being seminars with experts and Winfrey.

Clif Bar sponsored an exhibit booth at the workshop that was designed to promote its Luna Bar, an energy bar for women. At select events, Clif Bar has a Luna experience booth with candles, music and places to relax.

Women who visited the booth could participate in the Friend-to-Friend program by filling out dedication postcards to women who have honored, touched or inspired them. Women could write personal dedications on the USPS postcard along with the recipient's address, and the postcard would be mailed, with Clif Bar paying the postage.

"The dedication postcards add a very nice touch and an additional way for our consumers to share their experiences with other women," said Cassandra Cyphers, a spokeswoman for Clif Bar.

The Friend-to-Friend mailing will be highlighted at Luna booths at various events and will run until October. Clif Bar expects to hand out 30,000 postcards by the end of the year.

"We are very excited about the program," Cyphers said, "and so far women who have visited our booths have responded very positively to the dedication postcard."

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