By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Make it special, create some urgency, and they will buy. At least that was the idea with beautiful boxes sent to carefully targeted affluent buyers that treated lot sales as if they were rare jewels to be carefully acquired. And it worked. Within 10 days, there were more than $22 million dollars in sales at the River Club in Suwannee, Ga.

The materials within the box invited potential buyers to become members of the First Families Portfolio. These are the pioneer families buying before there is anything to really see at the development, says Erin McGivney, account executive at Atlanta-based Denmark Advertising and Public Relations. "They are buying into the promise of what an amazing place this will be," she adds. But they had to reply quickly. Denmark Advertising sent the boxes out in August with a deadline of Sept. 30, limiting participation to the first 25 purchasers.

First Families Portfolio members received many benefits: first-choice of lots; gifts such as golf bags with the River Club logo; an autographed photograph of the buyers with golfer Greg Norman, who designed the golf course; and what developer Crescent Properties calls "an advantage as a First Families Portfolio member that has a $10,000 value." The $10,000 can be put towards items such as landscape design or furniture, among other things, McGivney says.

All boxed up: This handsome invitation was included in an exclusive wooden box inviting potential buyers to become members of the First Families Portfolio at The River Club in Suwannee, Ga.

Campaign DetailsProgram: Direct mail campaign; Project: The River Club, Suwannee, Ga.; Builder/Developer: Crescent Resources, Charlotte, N.C.; Price: Lots $700,000s to $5 million; Size: 420 lots in a 620-acre community; Ad agency: Denmark Advertising and Public Relations, Atlanta; Media budget: $72 per box