UPS Testing Direct to Door Program

United Parcel Service on Sept. 28 launched a pilot program known as UPS Direct to Door.

The service distributes premium offers and samples from national consumer brands and retailers to residences in select U.S. zip codes. Offers are packaged in a UPS Direct to Door Pak and delivered with a UPS small package. This one-week pilot program will be offered to consumers in select zip codes in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington, Chicago, Miami and Phoenix.

Participating retailers include: Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond,, Boca Java, Omaha Steaks,, The Finish Line, Sephora, The Men’s Wearhouse, Mikasa and

Multichannel Merchant caught up with Lisa Lynn, director of new product development for UPS, to discuss the new service.

What factors prompted UPS Direct to Door?

UPS’s consumer brand and retail customers wanted to break through the marketing clutter to attract and retain consumers. We conducted focus groups and found out that our retailers are looking for an innovative way to connect with their customers.

Traditional and e-mail marketing channels are facing challenges. Traditional media is declining: More than 120 newspapers have closed since January 2008, and magazine newsstand sales plummeted 12% last year. What’s more, Forrester predicts that marketers will waste $144 million on e-messages that will never reach their primary targets.

What are the goals for UPS Direct to Door?

The goal is to leverage UPS’s core business expertise delivering packages so that our retail customers have an entirely new medium to reach high-opportunity consumers. With UPS Direct to Door, we are able to help our customers capture consumers’ interest in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

How many companies would UPS like to become involved?

UPS Direct to Door is currently a pilot program. It began Sept. 28 and will last one business week. For the pilot, UPS has approximately 12 customers who are participating. The model is for each UPS Direct to Door Pak to contain a select number of premium offers and samples.

What are the main benefits of Direct to Door?

By leveraging our established network, UPS Direct to Door distributes premium offers and samples to active consumers who are already receiving a residential small package delivery, placing the brands directly into the hands of potential consumers while minimizing the chances that they will be misplaced or discarded.

Plus, the UPS Direct to Door Paks are delivered by a familiar and trusted face—your UPS driver. In fact, internal studies found consumers were overwhelmingly receptive to UPS Direct to Door, with the vast majority responding that they are likely to open the offers and samples delivered by a UPS driver.

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