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Lumpy (Direct) Mail - It Gets Noticed

Sep 5, 2008
I like calling direct mail "lumpy" mail. Some of my staff groan when I call it that. They prefer to call it "3D Mail". But, you see, to me, the whole point of direct mailers are that they are, well, lumpy.

So what am I talking about here?

When using direct mail of any sort more than 50% of the battle is just getting the recipient to open it up, right? As a society, we get so much junk mail. And most of that mail is tossed before ever being opened. And even legitimate mail might accidentally look like junk mail. This deluge of mail might be why many marketers have a bad taste in their mouth regarding direct mail.

This perspective is well deserved, in my opinion, because I think most direct mail (that is, 3D Mail) is done incorrectly. I think the two most important things for a direct mail piece are 1) Getting it opened, and 2) Having the right message (presented the right way to the right audience).

In order to get opened or noticed I have found that it helps to be different and creative. That's why lumpy mail tends to have higher open rates. If you get a package or a letter that is lumpy, because something is in it, you tend to A) have it put at the top of your mail pile (because it *is* lumpy), and B) open it because you are curious. It has a higher profile than the other mail and that is why lumpy mailers are more successful.

I also think that it pays to be creative in what you send. Even outrageous. Let's face it there is a lot of noise (in terms of marketing) going on all around us so you have to cut through it by being a little outrageous.

Yes, one thing to keep in mind is that lumpy mail is more costly per unit, but when you compare your success rate (making sales because it got opened and read) it can turn out to be pretty cheap, from that perspective.

There are plenty of ways to do these types of mailers if you are a little creative. And I challenge you to just try it. Thank about your business, what you want the recipient to know about your business, about your mission statement, about your staff, about your products, any of these. Just as you envision a logo that "captures" the essence of your business, envision a marketing idea tucked in a "lumpy" piece of mail, an idea that might be right at the edge of your thought, right now. Got an idea? I urge you to try it.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!
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