Saturday, December 18, 2004

Ship Shapes - unique, better direct mail

Personality consultant Doug Erickson (303-290.8839 - writes: This little item was in the current FORBES. You can check out the vendor, and see samples at but basically the idea is you can make your direct mail piece any shape or object that you choose. The increased response rate will definitely get your attention.

At least this junk mail looks good. ShipShapes, a year-old Chicago company, has come up with product-shaped direct-mail pieces that feature a full-color picture of a product on one side of a durable plastic card and the advertiser's written message on the back. The Post Office originally balked at the idea, claiming the odd ShipShapes would clog mail-sorting equipment. But ShipShapes' chief, Thomas Becker, pushed. With mail volume sagging, the mail service came back with a solution: ShipShapes would send pieces by bulk mail directly to 30,000 or so individual post offices for delivery, effectively bypassing the mail-sorting process.ShipShapes charges anywhere from 80 cents to $3 per piece, which includes 57.4 cents for postage. But they are apparently effective. The first batch of 10,000 Krispy Kreme mailers in Southern California generated an 11% response rate, compared with the 3% junk mail industry average. -- Andy Stone, FORBES, Dec. 27, 2004

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