3M Asks Mailers to Think Outside the Envelope

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3M is promoting a new service that allows direct marketers to place its popular Post-It Notes on the outside of envelopes.

The custom-printed Post-It Notes, or "yellow stickies," are being highlighted at the Direct Marketing Association's 84th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

The yellow stickies are regularly placed on direct mail pieces inside envelopes in an effort to get readers' attention, according to 3M St. Paul, MN. However, the company's new service -- whereby the Post-It Notes are placed on the outside of envelopes -- will draw even more attention, the company said.

"Post-It Notes command attention anyway, but they work great when a call-to-action, such as a Web site to visit or a phone number to call, is written on it," said Ann M. Baptie, marketing manager of 3M's Post-It Direct Response Products division. "Recipients can easily pull the Post-It Note off the envelope and place it somewhere where they can easily see the information. It can be used as a convenient take-away and a reminder all in one."

The U.S. Postal Service has initiated a pilot test program for Post-It Notes that are attached to the outside of automation-compatible letter-size mail, effective Nov. 1.

To participate in the pilot program, marketers can contact 3M. In order to use custom-printed 3-in.-by-3-in. canary yellow Post-It Notes, mailers must follow these USPS specifications:

-- They must be applied on the left side of the mail piece by the end-user or a fulfillment house.

-- They must be applied no closer than a half-inch from left and bottom edges of the mail piece.

-- They must be applied to automation letter-size mail in the following sizes: No. 10 envelope, 6-in.-by-9-in. envelope and cards 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.

According to 3M, a recent study by the USPS found that response rates to a direct mail piece with a custom-printed Post-It Note outside the envelope were 40 percent higher than those without. In addition, 3M said the product has a very low damage rate -- even though the Post-It Notes used do not use any special glue to attach to the outside of the envelope.

The average charge for one thousand Post-It Notes is $17 when the customer buys 1 million, and there is no extra postage to use the Post-It Note.

To promote the product, 3M has sent all registered attendees to the DMA show a direct mail piece advertising the product with a Post-It Note on the outside that says, "Think Outside the Envelope." It also has a call-to-action message that tells recipients to visit 3M's booth at the show or call a toll-free number for more information.

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