Vanity 800 numbers have been around a long time. You know, the 800 numbers that everyone can remember (For example: 1-800-GoFedX). A good vanity 800 number can boost response rates to a direct marketing program simply because consumers can remember how to reach the firm.
But this recent AP article was the first I heard about vanity ZIP+4 codes! Saks Fifth Avenue shoe department gets own ZIP code: 10022-SHOE
From the article: "The new shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue is so big it's getting its own ZIP code.
The Manhattan store is currently revamping its shoe department.
Officials say that when it moves from the fourth floor to an almost 800-square-metre space on the eighth floor in August, customers will be able to send mail to 10022-SHOE."
The ZIP+4 code was introduced by the US Postal Service to help automate delivery service and speed up mail sorting. A ZIP+4 typically represents about 10 households. When the ZIP+4 was first created, the USPS offered lower postal rates to direct marketers who use special addressing software to apply a 9-digit ZIP code. This helped introduce the concept of a longer ZIP to consumers; the USPS' goal is to get everyone to employ the full 9-digits, even when you're writing a personal letter. Of course, this hasn't happened, yet.
We're wondering how a vanity ZIP+4 will help Saks, other than the nice publicity of being the first to implement the concept.
I know that, as a shoe-lover, this is one ZIP+4 that I will remember!