Food Packaging Mailer Nibbles at Prospect List

Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak is using a highly targeted direct mail campaign supported by sales calls to introduce a new product to manufacturers in the food industry.

Fewer than 100 pieces have gone out so far. At least a few hundred more are expected to be mailed in the next month, and mailings may continue depending on response.

“The amount of mailings has to correlate with the number of people our sales department can call at one time,” said Angela Edwards, manager of marketing and communications at Tetra Pak, Vernon Hills, IL. “The idea of this campaign is not to send out a massive wave of mail pieces to a large audience of people. We put together a specific and targeted list of people who can be called upon to begin building relationships with.”

The list was compiled in-house with the help of the sales team.

Tetra Pak works with food and beverage manufacturers of all sizes in more than 165 countries. This campaign is for Tetra Rex, a reclosable gable-top carton for use with dry foods. The pieces went to marketing decision makers in dry-food manufacturing companies of all sizes.

The targets consist entirely of prospects. Though some may know of Tetra Pak and its offerings, Edwards said, it was decided that the mailer was needed because Tetra Rex might not be the type of product people expect from the company.

“Since this is a new value opportunity offer we are making, we are approaching people as if they are not aware that we offer this type of product,” she said. “They may know of us and some of the things we offer, but chances are this new offer is outside the realm of what they know about us, so we are approaching them in that manner.”

The mailer is a box measuring 11 by 14 inches and 4 inches deep. Inside is an actual example of a Tetra Rex package containing jellybeans. The inside of the box is designed to look as if the jellybeans are on a shelf in a supermarket. There are no brochures, letters or other literature. All of the text and imagery appears on the box and the Tetra Rex package.

Text on the outside of the box reads: “Want to create new demand for your product? Here's an idea consumers will flip for.”

Text inside the box discusses the opportunities and benefits the packaging can provide for manufacturers and consumers. There are images of other types of packaging available from Tetra Pak. The Tetra Rex carton with the jellybeans reads, “An Open and Shut Case” in large type with the tagline “for convenience and quality” beneath it in smaller type.

“If you can provide an actual sample of what you are trying to get people to invest in,” Edwards said, “that is more effective than any amount of literature you can fit in a mailing. Also, this is not a throw-away piece that they will disregard, and hopefully some phones will be picked up and some doors will open.”

She said the goal is to show manufacturers that the product offers a double value and will benefit them as well as their consumers.

Edwards would not discuss the cost of the campaign or the cost per piece. But on a per-item basis it cost more than most direct mail campaigns that use a flat mailer or postcard mailer, she said.

The piece contains a toll-free number and a Web address for response. The call-to-action is to set up a meeting with a sales representative. A follow-up call will be made to people who do not respond within two weeks after receiving the mailer.

Creative for the campaign was done by Slack Barshinger, Chicago.

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