Lumpy mail pulls big results
How powerful is lumpy mail? Consider a credit card provider seeking face-to-face meetings with bank CEOs. Our agency mailed each CEO a box containing a sales letter and a First-Class Business Reply card. I should also mention that the box was five feet long, to accommodate the pair of stilts that we enclosed. The sales letter promised to help banks compete with “the big guys.” Our client set appointments with 40 percent of the mailing list and booked over $65 million in business the first year alone.
Not that lumpy mail has to be so fancy. For a client with a tiny budget, we mailed a letter, reply card—and fake mustache—in a Number 10 envelope. The envelope headline read, “Clever disguise enclosed.” The pitch? That retailing our client’s product would be immensely profitable. The mustache? To hide from long-lost friends showing up for a handout. The package pulled a 25 percent response.
Then there was the air horn we mailed for a community bank (36 percent response), the kazoo for a business service (25 percent), the Lone Ranger mask for a half million-dollar software product (25 percent), the beanbag elephant for a regional bank (56 percent), the two-headed coin for a transit company (47 percent), the volleyball for a law firm (25 percent)…
These results are not unusual. Can I guarantee you’ll do as well? Hell no. But your odds are pretty danged good. Ready to look at some samples? Click here.
Six Strategic Musts
1. Send something worth hanging on to. Junk doesn’t impress. Neither does a pen or mug with your logo. Note that “of value” needn’t mean “expensive.” The mustache cost our client less than a buck. Recipients kept it because it was fun. Many donned it and paraded around the office.
2. Send something with “head-scratcher” value. The last thing you need is for recipients to know what you plan to say before you say it. Make them scratch their head and wonder, “Why did XYZ Company send me a hockey puck?” (The hockey puck mailing, by the way, pulled an 8 percent response.) To find out, they will have to read.
3. Write a darned good sales letter. The lumpy enclosure charms, grabs attention and makes people read, but the letter sells. Do not enclose—and for heaven’s sake do not substitute—a flyer. Not even a really cool one. It will drive response down.
4. Don’t tell too much. Too much information relieves prospects of having to meet with you. Tell enough to create curiosity. Then invite the reader to contact you to learn more. Keep the letter to a page, and add no literature besides a reply card.
5. Be relevant. “Now that I have your attention…” isn’t strategic; it’s juvenile. Your lumpy enclosure must underscore a salient point. When we mailed high-end wooden puzzles to hospital-based pathologists, we likened the puzzle to laboratory management challenges. Recipients could receive the puzzle’s solution by meeting with a sales rep. (15 percent response.)
6. Follow up by phone. In every case cited here resulting in meetings with more than 25 percent of recipients, there was telephone follow-up. Lumpy mail generates inquiries on its own, but you’ll double or triple results by calling every name on the list. Ready to look at some samples? Click here.