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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

‘Red Hot’ Idea VI for Building Your Own Customer Nurture Program

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe went over a great idea for building a Customer Nurture Program. This week? Another great CNP idea. Remember, fire = print.

It was near closing time at FEI headquarters. Zoot, who’d finished his sales calls early, dropped in on Marka to find her arranging a formidable pile of envelopes on her desk.


“Don’t you run out of saliva?” Zoot asked.

“Are you being gross again?” answered Marka, shooting a disapproving look at her sometimes boorish counterpart.

“You know what I mean..licking all those envelopes?”

“Actually, no,” Marka said, turning her attention to Zoot. “The letters I send on behalf of FEI don’t need to be sealed. You know Be Frank, Olympus-renowned creator of O-mail?”

“Of course,” Zoot said nodding.

“Well, not only did Be Frank create the O post-office and the O-mail service, he designed many different mail pieces: self-sealing envelopes, extra panels for messages, perforated pieces for reply name it.”

“I get these in the mail often,” Zoot remarked.

“Self-mailers allow interested recipients to easily respond to whatever promotion we’re running at the time,” Marka pointed out. “All they have to do is check off a few boxes, enclose a check or a credit card number, re-seal the mailer and drop it into the mail. Because they don’t require an envelope, self-mailers remove a step from the direct mail reply process and, therefore, make it more likely that recipients will respond.”

“What’s the benefit for us?” Zoot asked.

“We can send our mass-mailing via standard OPS (Olympia Postal Service) for a much lower postage rate than offered by First Class service. If we pre-sort and apply barcodes to our mailing, we’ll qualify for additional postage savings. Because self-mailers don’t contain an extra envelope, they’ll usually be lighter than regular mailers and may qualify for flat or letter mail discounts as well. Additional discounts can also be obtained if we deliver our mail to OPS facilities instead of waiting for them to pick it up. The bottom line? Companies willing to standardize their mailings according to OSP guidelines can save a whole grape-load of drachmas,” Marka explained

“What are some other advantages?” Zoot asked, slowly coming around to the idea.

“How about simplicity and low cost? Leaving aside postage savings, self-mailers are still cheaper to produce and easier to design and assemble than a standard mail promotion,” Marka noted.

“This one’s a winner—add it to the marketing mix, you forward-thinking marketing whiz you!” Zoot said, putting his sandal-less feet on the top of his friend’s desk. Another look of disgust passed over Marka’s face as the smell of old corn wafted toward her nose.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Self-mailers allow interested recipients to easily respond to your promotion. Because they don’t require an envelope, self-mailers remove a step from the direct mail reply process and, therefore, make it more likely that recipients will respond. In addition, companies willing to standardize their mass-mailings according to USPS guidelines can greatly reduce postage costs. 

FIRE! in Action
The Design of Your Mailer Matters

The American Craft Council sent two mailers containing membership offers: one was a two-window format design, and the other was a one-window format that blended the membership card with the package’s other creative elements. The second package garnered a 36% greater response rate

Next week: The FEI tribe shifts gears with a tip on creating a public relations presence for your company.

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