Valpak(R) of Portland helps businesses, consumers survive tough economy

Direct mail brand prepares for new ownership, expansion in Portland

November 12, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Portland, Ore.) — When Shawn Hebert started working at Park Shuttle N Fly as general manager four years ago, he sought to implement fresh marketing strategies that would bring in new business and make a significant difference within his Portland airport parking company. Luckily, he was able to do just that with the help of Valpak, the most recognized direct mail brand in the U.S.

"I noticed the extra revenue generated from Valpak coupons immediately. Every month, our most popular coupon seems to be "One Day of Free Parking," said Hebert. "Since we've started, we've seen a steady flow of redemptions. We mail out 50,000 coupons monthly and receive about 180 back at the end of each month. This translates to a huge return on investment."

With Valpak's clients also including home improvement services and local restaurants, general manager at Valpak of Portland, Heidi Belisle, says the brand is appealing to businesses not only because of its effective direct mailing that targets specific geographic zones but also because of its innovative digital marketing techniques. Examples of this include SMS texting and call tracking.

"How do you know your marketing strategies are working," asks Belisle. "Through Valpak's new call tracking feature, clients have the ability to qualify and quantify leads. Using this free service, a new HVAC company received 187 phone calls within the first five days of mailing."

Mailing to 70,000-plus homes in Salem, Ore., John Schulte, owner of Valpak of Salem, says revenue at his Valpak business is up more than 45 percent this year over last. A former graphic designer and CEO of a furniture business, Schulte and his wife, Susan, became Valpak owners in August 2006 because they wanted to control their own destinies. And with countless success stories such as this in its franchise system, Largo, Florida-based Valpak is now looking to for a new owner for its Portland operation, which mails to 240,000 homes in Portland and 60,000 homes in Vancouver, Wash.

"For a driven, entrepreneurial person that excels in a high energy sales environment, being part of Valpak can be rewarding both financially and in personal satisfaction," said Belisle. "Also, with our proprietary operations systems, national marketing support and national promotions with highly respected partners such as The Martha Stewart Show, HGTV, The Food Network and CBS, we have the business model and tools in place that help local business owners succeed."

Valpak's trademark blue envelopes have become even more ingrained in consumers' lives with the downturn in the economy. And studies show that people are going to continue to live frugally as the economy improves. According to a recent survey by ICOM, Information & Communications, 45 percent of respondents said they were much more likely to use coupons during a recession. In fact, some 3.3 billion coupons were redeemed in 2009, a 27 percent increase from the year before, according to the coupon research site CouponInfoNow.com.

Most successful Valpak franchisees have backgrounds in sales and business management and are "hands-on" owners committed to customer service and maintaining the standards of the franchise network.

"We are excited about our Oregon markets and their continued growth under local ownership," said Jim Sampey, chief operating officer of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak. "Portland is an exceptional franchise market, and they would be able to leverage Valpak's new, state-of-the-art manufacturing center here in St. Petersburg, along with the fantastic franchise support team, and the strength of our consumer and advertiser trusted Valpak brand. Our best franchisees are people who enjoy sales, being part of their community and helping other businesses grow. This is a wonderful opportunity to be your own boss while having the tremendous resources of Valpak behind you at the same time."

If you are a successful salesperson, sales manager or business executive interested in inquiring about any of the Valpak territories listed above, contact Todd Leiser at todd_leiser@valpak.com or (800) 237-6266, ext. 3091.

About Valpak®

Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Media Group. With approximately 180 franchises throughout the United States and Canada, The Blue Envelope® delivers savings and value to nearly 40 million households each month. Annually, Valpak will distribute some 20 billion offers inserted in more than 500 million envelopes. Valpak also offers digital solutions with www.Valpak.com®, an online site for local savings, which has nearly 40 million offer views each month, as well as mobile phones, including apps for iPhone™, iPod touch®, Android™, Palm® Pre™ and Blackberry® platforms. For more information, please contact 1-800-676-6878.

Cox Media Group

Cox Media Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, is an integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of Cox Reps. With revenues exceeding $1.5 billion, the company operations include 15 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 86 radio stations, four metro newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. Additionally, CMG owns and operates Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.

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