Mailer Product Increases Targeting Options

Share this content:
Cooperative and sampling mailer ICOM, Toronto, has introduced a new production process that enables packaged goods companies in the United States to place multiple product samples of varying size and shape into a single mail piece, and it's being considered for acceptance by Canadian postal officials.


Package Assembly Equipment allows co-op envelopes to run through a mail feeder more than once, and samples are placed on, rather than in, the envelope. PAQ enables samples to be individually targeted by reading the name and address on an envelope and selecting the appropriate samples to go in each.


"If you don't want to limit a customer's flexibility, you have to be able to run the envelope through a number of times," said ICOM co-CEO Alan Levine. "We had to develop an approach of working off the envelope rather than the insert, that way we don't limit our customers in the number of different target groups they can have."


Once all samples are attached to an envelope, it's overwrapped in plastic with the name and address showing through. Its flexible conveyor system allows for variances in sample shape. The system currently has a capacity for eight different samples on the belt but capacity can be extended. The number of samples added is limited only by USPS regulations on weight and exterior dimensions to qualify for Standard A mail rates.


The USPS initiated a surcharge for nonuniform mail when new rates went into effect in January, and ICOM has been working with the postal service to ensure that overwrapped packages adhere to uniformity guidelines, Levine said.


By adhering to all USPS specifications, PAQ gives customers lower distribution costs than solo sample mail because those costs are shared with other co-op participants.


ICOM, which mails its TargetMail co-op to a database of 15 million to 18 million U.S. households compiled from responses to bi-annual surveys, can segment samples based on brand purchase behavior, usage patterns, medical conditions or other household habits. Unilever will use PAQ in a sampling program this spring for its Dove soap products while packaged goods companies Warner Lambert, S.C. Johnson and Kimberly-Clark have already conducted segmented sampling programs with ICOM.


PAQ is not yet available in Canada because of package size restrictions, but according to Levine, Canada Post has rewritten its postal regulations to make selective sampling available to direct marketers there. ICOM is partnering with Canada Post in a pilot project now underway to assess the pricing and deliverability of overwrapped mail.
close

Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above