If your direct mail pieces are not getting the interest you want, you may want to think about the packaging you send your direct mail in. Are you sending letters in plain white envelopes with just the recipient's name and address printed on the front? A boring package could be your problem.
If you have a great offer, but no one is opening your mailer to get to that offer, try putting your postcard, brochure or whatever mailing piece in a box. Actually, it does not have to be in a box, it can be in anything that is not flat. Tubes and boxes are generally the most common dimensional mailer and both are regulated for postage by the United States Postal Service. These mailers will cost you more to ship, but you are more likely to get a higher response rate so it is worth the extra cost. Check out the U.S. Postal Services Web site to find out what shapes are okay to send.
Unfortunately, the Postal Service can limit your shape choice. For instance, you cannot mail a round postcard. You can find out more by visiting the aforementioned Web site.
The good thing is that with boxes, you can print just about any design you want on them, which will help you attract more attention to it. People are more likely to open dimensional mailers because it is like Christmas or a birthday - they feel like they are opening a present!
Dimensional mailers tend to get past receptionists and are hardly ever seen as junk mail because they look important in their box or tube. These mailers also help you to stand out among your competitors. Some marketers have reported response rates of 25 to 50% from dimensional mail, so it is worth a try.
You can also tie your dimensional mailer to other marketing materials, like your business cards. Ask your business card printing company if they can create a dimensional business card. Many can create 3-D business cards, so just check online with several printing companies to see what they can do.
So, what should you put in your box or tube? You can send a sample of your product, or you can send something that makes noise or plays music. You could record a message for your recipient to play once they open the box and see the recorder (you can get one-time recorders pretty cheaply).
Aprimo Inc, a software creator, sent a box to business prospects with a wooden train and tracks inside along with literature headlined, "Wondering how to keep your organization on the right track?" The trains had labels with Aprimo's name on them and the trains were nice enough to display on an executive's desk. This creative package helped ensure receivers would be open to a follow-up call.
The biggest downside with dimensional mailers is that they cost so much to mail. This is why you should only send them to a small target market. This target market should be potential customers that are very well-qualified and likely to do business with you.
Tips for Creating Dimensional Mail
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your mail pieces:
1. Keep the packaging, the wording, the color palette and everything else consistent with your brand image. Use your logo and brand colors on the package.
2. Include printed material along with the object you send in the direct mail box or tube. This mailing should relate to your overall marketing message.
3. Include your return address. With everyone on high alert for packages that could be bombs, your package may end up getting blown up if not properly labeled!
4. Include a call to action on the object or additional mailing materials.
Make sure to follow up by making a phone call within a week after your mailer has been received. Many people will be happy to take your call to thank you for the interesting item you sent!
Janice Jenkins is a writer for a marketing company in Chicago, IL. Mostly into marketing research, Janice started writing articles early 2007 to impart her knowledge to individuals new to the marketing industry.
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