Cox Direct to Offer Branded Envelope With Lamaze

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Cox Direct, St. Petersburg, FL, a cooperative direct mailer, this month sealed an agreement with the Lamaze Institute for Family Education, Darien, CT, to co-brand Cox's co-op envelope targeted to families with infants and toddlers.

"See Them Grow From Lamaze Family" will mail to 750,000 homes each quarter to families with babies age 2 months to 2 years, using mailing lists from Cox's database and from the subscriber list for Lamaze Family magazine, a 1 million circulation quarterly publication that focuses on developmental issues.

"We just thought it would be a great partnership, given their direct mail expertise and the fact that we've never done direct [marketing] to the home before," said Paul Kessinger, vice president of marketing at the Lamaze Institute.

Lamaze, widely known for its prenatal training classes, also publishes magazines and videos for maternity nurses, childbirth educators and new parents. It also has a product called "Special Delivery," in which coupons, promotional literature and samples are packaged with Lamaze Family magazine.

The co-branding agreement will enable Lamaze to use the distribution expertise of Cox Direct, while Cox hopes to capitalize on the brand awareness of Lamaze and the relationships it has with its advertisers.

"When you have just gone through the process of having a baby, Lamaze is a brand name you know," said Kessinger. "Having that co-branding on there helps get mail opened. It helps give it some visibility vs. all the other direct mail that comes into the house."

The agreement also marks the first time Cox has branded a niche envelope, the company said. And it expands the age group that the See Them Grow mailer reaches. Previously, the mailer had gone to families with children age 5-18 months, but the Lamaze-branded envelope will be segmented into three age groups: 2-6 months, 7-12 months and 13-24 months.

"With the three age groups, it will allow [advertisers] to come in with a continuity program," said Karen Conroy, director of marketing at Cox Direct.

The first co-branded envelopes are scheduled to reach consumers in June, Conroy said, adding that the Lamaze partnership will be evaluated at the end of this year.

In addition to coupons and promotional materials, the mailer will include a newsletter jointly produced by Lamaze and Cox Direct.

"It's a new way of getting out our clients' messages," he said. "We have contacts with all those baby-product and infant-product manufacturers. We run a lot of advertising with them."

The two companies have divided the advertisers that they had in common, so that sales representatives from each will not overlap each other's territories.

Conroy said that some of the top consumer-goods companies were looking at the program, although she declined to identify any potential advertisers.

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