Thursday, April 19

Synergy Says:

SYNERGY SAYS: Lumpy Mailing for the Every Marketer

APRIL 2012

One of the biggest problems facing direct mail marketers today is the sheer volume of marketing materials being presented to buyers via direct mail every day. Everyday people open their mailbox to find stacks of postcards, envelopes, and catalog and are faced with the task of sorting the mail.  Direct mail marketers spend hours obsessing over this daily practice, trying to figure out how to keep mailers out of the trash pile or the maybe pile and into the “I need to take care of this now” pile. And we have seen some creative tactics over the years. But recently “guerrilla” mail marketers are changing the shape of their direct mail campaigns- literally.

What is Lumpy Mail?

 Sending unsolicited packages or envelopes stuffed with freebies and trinkets to make it look like there is something more valuable in an envelope than a sales letter. Lumpy mailers are known for generating double digit response rates- consistently. They maximize on customer curiosity- not knowing the contents or sender of a strange package is enough to drive potential buyers crazy, or at least drive them to open the package. 

Open rates. Prospects and potentials can’t seem to rip into full envelopes fast enough, and even when sent to a poorly selected list of prospects lumpy mail is SURE to get opened. Response rates are also much higher than on average direct mail campaigns (which typically illicit a 1-3% response) some companies are boasting a 50% response on Lumpy campaigns, making the additional investment of lumpy mailers more than worth the expense.

The major problem is redemption. Even with great design, and an envelope full of lumps and trinkets enticing potential buyers to OPEN the envelope getting them to redeem the offer you’re presenting is another step all together.

With its extra packaging, inserts, and cheap trinkets, lumpy mail is clearly wasteful.  Environmentally conscious prospects really dislike receiving a package full of plastics and papers that is going to end up in the trashcan, and this distaste can carry over and effect brand image over time.   Not to mention the additional expense of producing the materials, print, and perhaps the biggest expenditure- postage, are enough to over extend any marketing budget.


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Tactics that make expensive lumpy mailers effective can easily be scaled down to fit into direct mail campaign. Great design, clever tag lines, unique packaging and just plain creativity are enough to tempt most consumers sense of curiosity into opening an envelope, but to really initiate a worthwhile return on investment mailers need to focus not on open rates, but redemption rates. 

The thrifty alternative to lumps

 A postcard can be dressed up into a killer campaign when "lumpy tactics" are applied- and for a fraction of the cost. Here are five simple tricks to take your postcards to the next level:

1. Personalize: Digital variable printing makes it possible to include each recipients name on the cover of the postcard they receive
2. Di-Cutting: Sick of the standard Square Postcard? We can di-cut your mail piece into the shape of your product, or any other shape you desire!
3. Go BIG! 8.5"X 11 postcards are sure to make your statement, and stand out in a mailbox!
4. Think mysterious: Send out a postcard with simply a Personalized URL on the front. Recipients will have to know what offer you have waiting especially for them on their own Landing Page!
5. Shock it up... Us an unlikely image on the front of your postcard, such as extremely close up shot, or surreal looking photo to catch recipients off guard.