What the Heck is 3D and Lumpy Mail…And why should I care?
When you market, your whole job is to get your message read and 3D Mail and Lumpy Mailers do the trick. Chances are, you employ a variety of mediums to get your message to your prospective audience and one of them – if you’re smart – is direct mail.
We already talked about how you’re competing for your prospect’s or customer’s attention and the thousands of businesses that are all promoting their own marketing message. So you need to stand out from the crowd so your prospect or customer will pay attention to your message above all the others!
Think about what happens when you get the mail. Whether you’re at the kitchen table or in your home office, you sort with the trash can in mind. For me, it goes like this:
Magazines, newspapers, and newsletters go in the “to be read later” pile.
Bills go in the “shoot me now” pile.
Letters and cards from friends and family get opened on the spot.
Junk mail gets thrown into the recycling bin without a second thought.
And I’m not alone in this. This is how most people open their mail.
But with Lumpy Mail, you’re creating a 5th category – the “what the heck is this – I should open it and find out!” pile
And with lumpy mail, that can’t be placed under the pile of bills or magazines… it would all topple over! You’re literally getting yourself put on the top of the “to-read” pile (which marketers call the A-pile.)
Creating A-pile mail is what it’s all about – mail that’s interesting, engaging, and enough to get your message opened and read.
So how do you do this?
Well, you do this with creative packaging, unique marketing products and copy.
For instance – if you’re selling something that will help your prospects or customers relax (like a top-of-the-line mattress), you could liken it to life on a luxurious tropical island and your salesletter could say something like “Imagine you’re as relaxed as you would be sipping a drink on a tropical island… you’ve escaped the busy world of smartphones and computers and the only way someone can get ahold of you is to send you a message in a bottle… That’s how you’re going to feel when you sleep on our top-of-the-line bed.”
And you actually send this letter in a plastic bottle, with sand and seashells in the bottom!
Believe it or not, the USPS will mail just about anything that fits within their regulations, like plastic trash cans, bottles, beach balls, just about anything you can think of. (Obviously, there are limitations and we can help you with the guidelines of what will and what won’t mail.)
Just imagine what your prospects or customers are going to think when they get an actual plastic bottle from you, filled with things from the beach.
Are they going to open your letter right away? You BET they will! They won’t be able to figure out what you’re up to!
Getting your mail opened and read is not the only benefit lumpy mail will have.
Added Benefit #1: You’re going to get past gatekeepers (secretaries, domestic partners or children who sort mail, etc.) much faster with something interesting and new.
Getting past the gatekeeper has always been one of the biggest challenges in Direct Mail Marketing. These people are trained to be ruthless, throwing away anything that isn’t a personal communication or specifically of interest to their boss or partner. But when you throw something new and different into the mix, you’re more likely to get your message to the person you’re actually trying to reach.
Added Benefit #2: You’re going to be remembered, and maybe even shared.
The longer a piece stays around, the higher your ROI. There are many times that a customer or prospect has held onto a cool piece of mail and purchased weeks or even months later! Plus, there’s nothing better than being passed around the office or circle of friends because you had the guts to send something in the mail that others didn’t. Not only are you getting repeated exposure, but you’re building your brand recognition – people are going to remember you!
Added Benefit #3: It generates interest and involvement.
When someone has to open your letter using more than a kitchen knife or letter opener, they’re more invested in your message. That’s not to say you want to send them a completely taped-up envelope, requiring a special skill-set and a small dose of TNT to open (unless you’re sending a super-duper “top secret” message, for their eyes only, that is!)… but you want to get them involved with your mailing. Opening a bottle, un-taping a toy car from the top of your letter (and maybe zooming it around the desk or dining room table for a moment!) or any of the other things they have to do when you send them a lumpy letter make people more emotionally connected with you and what you have to say.
We’re also counting on the tendency of people to keep things that have a sort of value. People don’t usually throw away something that they deem valuable… which is easy to get them to do!
Think about the charities that send you the pre-made address labels. They’re usually pretty big, with cartoons on them… and you probably don’t use them very often. But how many people do you know that keep them?
I sure do. I have a bunch of them from different charities, and even though I have more than I think I may ever use in my lifetime, I can’t bring myself to throw them away – because there’s a value attached to them.
So you’re not only going to be in the front of your prospect’s or customer’s mind, you may stay there because they might just keep your mailing around because it’s valuable to them.
Here’s An Important Thing To Remember
There are a lot of businesses out there that flat-out refuse to use lumpy mail because they think their prospects and customers are “too sophisticated” to be receptive and won’t respond to it.
One of the major mistakes that most marketers make is overestimating their audience and assuming that the marketing that has been proven to work simply won’t work for them.
While you may have a few people on your list that think you’re being cheesy or aren’t interested in seeing what your mailing is all about, this is NOT the majority. Your list is NOT too smart, sophisticated, cultured, savvy, or any other word you can think of.
Everything I’ve said above applies to everyone on your list – even the ones that you think won’t respond to it.