Pop 'N' Fold Papers Offers 3-D Mail Pieces

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A New Jersey company claims to be the first to have developed a method for creating affordable, short-run, personalized, three-dimensional direct mail pieces.


Dubbed Pop 'N' Fold Papers Inc., the company has developed 20 patterns that can be printed using most computer-connected digital printers.


"Up to now, if you go for personalized printing, it's a flat sheet of paper," said Harvey Hirsch, president of Pop 'N' Fold, Lyndhurst, NJ. "When you're dealing with less than 5,000 pieces, you have the option now of not printing flat. You can print a three-dimensional pop-up."


Three-dimensional or "lumpy" mail is a known response-lifting creative device.


Pop 'N' Fold will license the patent-pending technique to resellers or sell it to end-users.


"A quick printer is the ideal situation, or a corporation that wants to do one-to-one marketing," Hirsch said.


The license costs $4,500 for the first year and includes a supply of paper.


Resellers generally can expect to charge $1.50 to $5 per piece, Hirsch said. Licensees also can draw revenue by participating in project sharing with Pop 'N' Fold, or printing parts of jobs that would be too large for a single machine.


Among Pop 'N' Fold's patterns is a so-called hot mailer, or a card with fold-out flames on it, which resells for about $1.60 to $2 per piece.


There also is a "fish" pattern that creates an envelope with an undersea look. Inside the mailer is a card with fold-out coral that reveals an origami-type fish. It resells for about $5 per piece.


Another pattern makes a cardboard camera. Event tent-card patterns are also available.


Pop 'N' Fold recently signed its first licensing deal with Parcel Place, a McKinney, TX, franchisee of mailing and shipping services chain Parcel Plus.


Parcel Place's owners think the Pop 'N' Fold service will appeal to small-business customers looking for high-end-looking printed materials without the set-up fees normally associated with such jobs.


"The printers don't like this [because it potentially diverts business from them]," said Kim Freeman, owner/manager, Parcel Place. "But these are folks who would never have been able to consider such a job before."


Parcel Place offers a turnaround time of about 48 hours.


Hirsch said he is negotiating with 10 other firms that he thinks will be on board within two months.


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