New Bubble Mailer Gets Ballooning Response

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Partners Plus Inc., a computer network support and technical services firm targeting small and midsize companies, gained impressive results with a direct mail campaign sent in a new bubble mailer called Your First Priority Package.

YFPP was launched in January by Window Book Inc., Cambridge, MA, a postal shipping and software firm.

The 3/4-inch-thick bubble mailer comes in two sizes. One weighs 0.7 ounces, is 10 inches long by 7 inches wide and fits a single folded 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheet. The other weighs 1.1 ounces, is 12.5 by 9 inches and fits in an 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheet that is not folded.

For a case of 50 YFPP mailers, Window Book charges $24 and $36 for the smaller and larger envelopes, respectively, including shipping and handling. It costs 37 cents per ounce and 23 cents for each additional ounce to mail them First Class.

The mailing is designed to meet the U.S. Postal Service's First-Class Mail Delivery and Signature Confirmation requirements.

Window Book said mailers using YFPP packages benefit from the affordable cost and value of USPS First-Class rates on lightweight fulfillments and still can track their packages without paying higher United Parcel Service, FedEx or DHL rates.

YFPPs have proved successful for legal and financial mailers who require proof that their documents are delivered.

However, Partners Plus, New Castle, DE, used the package for a direct mail campaign sent Feb. 14. It promoted a three-hour March 15 seminar Partners Plus conducted with Microsoft in Malvern, PA, where customer relationship management and Microsoft's CRM system were discussed.

The mailing went to 4,000 people who own or manage a business, sales or customer service department. It was signed by Carolyn J. Barczak, operations manager at Partners Plus. Names and addresses were gleaned from a D&B list. Recipients were encouraged to register for the seminar by March 7 via a Web link or by e-mailing or calling Barczak.

The mailing was sent in the larger YFPP envelope. The mailers were not branded with the company logo, but Barczak included a Partners Plus label on them.

About 22 people signed up for the event. Barczak said she received about seven calls from people who didn't attend but wanted to learn more about Partners Plus after getting the mailing.

"The invitation was written on just two pieces of paper, which was the only thing in the envelope, nothing else," she said. "Several people called and asked me why I used such a big envelope to send [only two pieces of paper], and I said, 'You opened it, didn't you?' "

Barczak said the YFPP worked because she was soliciting to a client base that had never heard of Partners Plus "and who was not going to open up a direct mail piece. In fact, that's probably the last thing on their mind. But if you send them a puffy package, they are going to open it up because they want to know what is in it."

The price was right as well, costing 60 cents per mail piece, which Barczak said would be the same as using the First-Class rate.

Barczak did not use USPS' Delivery and Signature Confirmation services with the mailer, but wants to in the future. This service gives mailers -- via e-mail -- information such as the date, ZIP code and time a package was delivered. Users get the date and time of an attempted delivery. The USPS charges 13 cents per piece for electronic Delivery and Signature Confirmation. Barczak may use this with a smaller mailing, perhaps one to 20 or 25 people.

"I could have used this feature to track everyone who receives a mailing, and then follow up with a phone call two days later," she said. "I probably wouldn't [use Delivery and Signature Confirmation services] with a mailing sent to 4,000 people, but I would with a smaller mail campaign."

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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