Bank Rolls Out Zamboni Mailer for Checking Account

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First Tennessee Bank is using the U.S. Postal Service's Customized MarketMail program to promote its Nashville Predators checking account.

The mail piece promotes an offer of $100 and a die-cast Zamboni piggy bank for opening a Predators checking account with at least $100. The piece features the Zamboni machine used by the Predators, a National Hockey League team. It tells recipients that they can open an account at a Predators' home hockey game or visit a First Tennessee financial center to open their account.

"Our Web site is printed on the piece, but it is not one of the more prominent ways that people would choose to open an account," said Lisa Meiers, marketing manager at First Tennessee.

CMM is a mail classification approved recently by the USPS that lets direct marketers mail nonrectangular pieces without having to enclose them in a package or envelope.

The mailers were printed on a high-gloss plastic engineered to accept ink and flex without creasing and retain their shape after coming out of the mailbox. To avoid the postal service's mechanized canceling process, the mailings must be shipped directly to the post office where they are hand-canceled.

Costs vary based on the quantity and mailing list, but generally range from $1 to $3 per item including postage and drop-ship costs. The cost is about four times that of a postcard mailer.

The mailing went in two drops to the same 3,300 Predators season-ticket holders in the Nashville area. The first went out Feb. 9, and the second dropped Feb. 23.

Meiers said that First Tennessee hit the same customers twice "because since we were mailing a limited quantity, we realized we could print enough to drop it twice for not a whole lot of cost-differential."

First Tennessee Bank and its marketing agency, Memphis-based Thompson & Company, worked with ShipShapes, Park Forest, IL, to create the mailer.

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