Handwritten Mail Piece Proves Sure Bet for Casino

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Grand Casino filled a 740-seat all-day party for NASCAR's Winston Cup race after mailing a handwritten promotional piece to 3,500 of its most frequent patrons.

Crowds of other mail recipients had to be turned away that day, according to the Hinckley, MN-based casino, which apparently has been hitting the jackpot with handwritten pieces for the past year.

The casino has used handwritten letters to consistently fill free-admission, invitation-only, themed, bimonthly parties that include gambling, dinner, giveaways and entertainment. Pen & Ink, Golden Valley, MN, a company that employs 45 people to handwrite call-to-action mail pieces, has printed the letters.

Opening the recent mailer set off an audio chip that made the revving sounds of a race car. A brochure detailing the casino's 154 hotel rooms and other services such as an 18-hole golf course was included. The cost of the mailer was unavailable.

"Return-on-investment figures are still in development and probably will never be made public, but you could guess that it would be an extremely positive number because these are our best players," said Cindy Keding, manager of database and promotions at Grand Casino.

In October, the casino plans to mail handwritten letters to promote a Las Vegas-themed event.

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