Koz.com Sees Double With Mailing

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To help promote the newly redesigned version of ichat2000, an online community-building product, Koz.com this week launched a direct mail campaign targeting Web development companies, as well as Web developers and information technology executives at small to large-size companies.

The 75,000-piece mailing -- created by Maxim Direct, a division of Trone Advertising, Greensboro, NC -- is one element of an integrated campaign that will include banner advertising and the sponsorship of industry-targeted e-newsletters. According to David Rhoades, director of marketing programs at Durham, NC-based Koz.com, it will consider print advertising in trade publications down the road.

Koz.com will mail two separate pieces to customers and prospects to see which mailing produces the best response.

"One of them is edgier, while the other is more traditional and straightforward," Rhoades said. "This group that we are targeting is rather creative, so we think they will respond well to the flashy piece."

The piece, titled "Happy hour," features a picture of a tray of party sausages and mustard on the cover. In keeping with the theme, community and bringing people together, the tri-fold piece opens to a picture of three bingo cards stating "Wednesday night bingo."

The rest of the piece contains information on the product and all its features. People who receive the piece are asked to either order ichat2000 or contact Koz.com by calling a toll-free number or visiting the Web site.

"This is more of a curiosity piece and will hopefully get people to say 'This isn't the type of mail that usually comes across my desk' when they get it," Rhoades said. "We think the more offbeat piece will be effective and resonate well with this audience."

The more traditional piece is a bi-fold that states "Build it better, more will come" on the front. The inside contains the same amount and type of information on ichat2000. "This one is a lot more straightforward in that it gets directly to the point and talks about what ichat2000 does," he said.

Rhoades said the company will be able to track which piece is generating a better response and, based on that information, will determine which piece will be used as a follow-up mailing to those who don't respond to the initial mailing.

Koz.com will sponsor 10 e-newsletters targeted at the Web development and IT audience. It also will run a number of banner ads on Web sites "that we think most of this audience will frequent," Rhoades said.

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