Cox Thinks In-the-Box With Introz

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Cox Target Media is expected to announce today that it is establishing a permanent presence in the online sampling space with the launch of its Introz product.

Introz is essentially the "boxed media" version of a cooperative mail envelope featuring sample products from a variety of different suppliers.

Cox is in for the long haul with its alternative method of product distribution. This differentiates this offering from the one-offs that its competitors may create, said Paul Gordon, executive vice president of sales at Cox Target Media, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., Atlanta.

"We've now created a consistent media where samplers of all shapes and sizes can participate in a thematic device," Gordon said. "We are not the only people on earth that have ever put out a co-op box, but we're one of the first to put out the box as a media vs. as a response to a [client's request]. We're creating an ongoing connection and conduit for advertisers to reach a very targeted audience. It will be dependable and consistent in theme and method of distribution."

Cox began sending out Introz boxes to consumers who opted-in to receive them at, and in the first week of August. The box includes Castrol waterless hand cleaner, tire sealants and leather cleaner. The company has mailed more than 200,000 boxes to date.

By allowing consumers to request the box online, Cox is able to fill its database with consumer profiles since recipients must provide their name, address and e-mail address.

Cox uses this information to "close the loop." The company is following up with an e-mail that says, "We see you've received the Castrol hand cleaner. Share your thoughts with us and we'll give you a $1 off coupon for the full-sized product." The message includes a quick survey.

Gordon believes that Cox will be able to earn consumers' interest, as well as their trust, quickly. "If we put out a health and beauty box there will be health and beauty items in that box. We could make money adding other [nonrelated] samples, but that would be dishonest because of consumers' expectations when they request the box."

In addition to the online opt-in arrangement, Introz also can be mailed to Cox's targeted lists as well as distributed at retail locations and special events.

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