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Direct Marketing That Works: The Lumpy Package

Marketing is cyclical. Where direct mail became passe a few years ago in favor of email (and then mobile marketing), it’s now a great way to have a big impact on getting your audience’s attention. But it can’t be just any direct marketing mail. A carefully planned out campaign is the only one sure to get the recipient’s attention.


I have a client who launched a Thanksgiving direct mail campaign. Why? It beats the influx of Christmas cards and gifts, and because it stands out. We sent three mailings, each with its own Thanksgiving-related item (a corn cob, candle, and a toy turkey). The goal was to make the recipient smile, and let their guard down, so that my client could follow up with an appointment to meet them.

We could have just done a postcard campaign, but the recipients are a highly targeted bunch, and we wanted to step outside the proverbial box. So we’re sending lumpy mail, which is a surefire way to get the mail open. 

Here are some hints for ensuring your direct marketing mail campaign works:

  • Hand-address the envelope or box. When you receive a hand-addressed piece of mail, you always open it, don’t you?
  • Customize it. No one likes a “Dear Sir/Madam” letter.
  • Include a promotional item, like a customized USB stick or notepad.

Or get creative like in the examples above. You don’t want the recipient to forget you the second they throw your letter away.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Just one mailing won’t do the trick. Space them out a few weeks, and do at least 3.

Let’s talk! What are some creative direct marketing mail campaigns you’ve run? Or do you have questions about direct mail?

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The ‘lumpy’ package is a great idea. I’ve also heard of promotions that worked well when they included a chocolate (hopefully not in the middle of summer)

    If I enter a competition I usually create my own envelope from brightly coloured card or use old magazine pages to make them stand out… and it works!

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