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Irresistible Ink Inc. has devised a first-class way to improve the chances direct mail pieces will be opened and read.

The Minneapolis-based direct response specialty company promotes itself as creating "direct mail you just can't say no to," with mass mailings that use hand-written envelopes, commemorative stamps, insertions of personalized notes and ink-pen signatures.

The idea is the brainchild of former ad agency executive and company President Steve Rosengren and telemarketing veteran Jon Petters, CEO of Irresistible Ink.

"We try to add the human touch to laser-printed, impersonal, computerized business communications," said Mr. Rosengren.

"It occurred to me there was an opportunity to provide personalized marketing communication....that would give companies another way to help cement a customer's loyalty," Mr. Rosengren said.

Irresistible Ink employs a work force of more than 130 in the northern Minnesota towns of Ely and Two Harbors. It has produced invitations to business seminars, thank you notes and even personalized letters for a debt collection agency.

Irresistible Ink expects sales to top $2 million this year, but executives declined to reveal the names of the company's dozen or so clients.

"That would give away that these are mass mailings, not truly single letters," Mr. Rosengren said.

Prices start at about 30 cents each for hand-written envelopes to residences and 40 cents for business-to-business mailings.

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