Cox Direct Revamps Carol Wright Program

Cox Direct has changed the look and focus of its Carol Wright cooperative envelope program with two new campaigns aimed at families and mature households.

The first campaign, targeting households with children 17 and under, kicked off in March with a 25-million piece mailing. It features a re-designed envelope and draws on a cooperative database for the first time. The envelope, which contains coupons, samples and other offers, will be mailed ten times per year with a different theme each month. The August mailing, for example, will be geared toward back-to-school savings.

The new four-color envelope presents a sleeker, more upscale image than the standard brown Carol Wright envelope of the past, according to Nancy Kolb, vice president of administration for Cox Direct, St. Petersburg, FL. Tests last year found that the new envelope had higher recall and opening rates and an overall positive reaction.

“The mailers want to mail to high-consumption households, and these are typically the ones with children,'' Kolb said. “We are changing what's inside, outside and who we're mailing to.''

Carol Wright had been part of Donnelley Marketing (now First Data Solutions) and drew on Donnelley's consumer database until being purchased by Cox Enterprises in 1996. Kolb would not reveal the participants in the new cooperative database but said they are national retailers, packaged-goods and mail-order companies that have included offers in the envelope. Data also has been collected from database firms, response files and other compiled sources.

“As an independent mailer, we can leverage a variety of data sources,'' Kolb said. “We are compiling multiple files of households with children. We're no longer a single source.''

Mailers can choose one or more targeting applications that are overlaid on the database to deliver inserts and messages to selective households.

The database will be enriched with new data gathered through various response vehicles including address cards and the ShareForce survey, a product of First Data Solutions, Naperville, IL.

The other new campaign, Enjoying Life: Delivering Special Offers and Idea to Active Adults, will officially launch in September and mail every May, September and November to its database of 3 million consumers ages 50 to 64, who have no children. A mailing in the brown envelope will go out this month.

Cox Direct has formed an alliance with The Senior Network Inc., Stamford, CT, to develop the program that is geared toward a segment of the population that is becoming a powerful marketing force. This age group represents $1.6 trilllion in buying power, according to demograhic research. Rick Adler, president of The Senior Network, a marketing and consulting firm specializing in the mature consumer audience, noted that by the year 2000, 30 percent of the population will be over 50.

The Senior Network will produce a newsletter in each mailing with articles geared to the active adult. The envelope also will contain coupons, samples and other offers.

“Seniors are just booming,'' said Karen Conroy, Cox Direct product and promotions manager. “We really needed to give them their own niche because the market will be so huge in the next couple of years.''

Carol Wright is debuting another envelope in June for its new See Them Grow program that will target parents of 5- to 18-month-old babies. See Them Grow will be mailed to 750,000 households every three months. Just Delivered, which started last year, reaches 225,000 households with babies up to 4 months old every month.

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