Targeted Mask Mailing a Treat for Printer

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The Premier Company hopes to scare up extra business this fall with a mail campaign using four Halloween masks.


The mail pieces are compatible with the U.S. Postal Service's Customized MarketMail classification, which lets direct marketers mail nonrectangular pieces that meet certain criteria without having to put them in a package or envelope.


"While CMM is more costly to produce in the print production process, it is all well worth the effort in increased response rates," said Martha Kaiser Justice, president of Premier, a Houston-based printer, mailing and fulfillment company that focuses on the business-to-business industry.


The mailing consists of four brightly colored masks: a purple monster, a green monster, a robot and the bride of Frankenstein. Each mask touts a different aspect of Premier's services as well as ShapeUp, its CMM offering. About 600 to 800 mail pieces are going to prospects in concentrated ZIP codes.


"We are seeking new customers for all of our services and also showing them that we have experience producing amazing CMM images," Justice said.


The copy differs on each mask. For example, the bride of Frankenstein mask opens with: "Make the right marriage," while the purple monster mask asks, "Haunted by a monster mailing list?" Each mail piece includes the company's phone number and a Web site address specifically for ShapeUp.


The robot mask goes out this week to a targeted group of customers and prospects. It encourages recipients to call to get the remaining masks for free. Last year, the company mailed similar masks to 1,000 customers and prospects in a four-part mailing.


Justice also said Premier received a big order for a CMM mailing from Southwest Bank of Texas, which wanted to do a promotional campaign around its new name: Amegy Bank of Texas. Working through the bank's agency, FogartyKleinMonroe, Houston, Premier mailed 40,000 large A-shaped pieces to their customers. The company also used Premier for other mailings related to the branding campaign.


"We got a lot of calls from people that said they really loved it and had a lot of fun with it," Justice said.


Justice said she didn't know the bank's response rate -- it was more of an image campaign for them -- but "the important thing is I got this big job from the mailing ... It only takes one lead on a big mailing like this to really make it pay for itself, and that particular project definitely paid for [what it cost us] to do it."


Justice said she learned several things from previous experience with CMM. For example, because it needs to be dropped at individual Destination Delivery Units rather than a central post office, she said, it's best to mail in batches for neighborhood mailings with the same ZIP codes as opposed to having to deliver to 50 different DDUs for a 1,000-piece mailing.


"This type of mail is great if concentrated around similar ZIP codes rather than scattered all over the city, the state and country," she said. "This year, we are going to be targeting ZIP codes with businesses we are trying to sell our services to. I am working with a list broker right now, and we are going to target better."


Justice also said CMM should include the term: "Carrier leave no response" because it can't be returned through the postal service.


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


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