Set Yourself Apart with Lumpy Mail: Direct Mail Done Right

As a business person, you’re probably familiar with direct mail marketing, and that means you know just how hard it is to gain much traction with it.

The public gets a lot of direct mail, most of which they consider “junk mail” and toss directly in the trash or recycle bin. That’s why you need your direct mail pieces to stand out, and also be perceived in a positive light.

One strong strategy for differentiating your direct mail is with lumpy mail. Lumpy mail refers to any envelope with some kind of bulk in it. You can intuitively see why this is a better way to go. Every day, you get piles of flyers, postcards, letters, and brochures from businesses trying to sell you something. It’s all the same, and it’s usually not given a second glance—but how do you react when you see a lumpy package?

If you’re like most of us, the natural inclination is to open the mailer. There’s some mystery and intrigue because you often can’t tell what the package contains from the outside. And let’s face it: we all love to open packages!

Getting your client to open your mailer is the whole point of any direct mail campaign, of course. So, here’s how to put a lumpy mail campaign to work for your business.

The most important thing is to choose a lump that actually has a purpose. Stuffing a bunch of styrofoam into a package and calling it lumpy won’t do the trick. You’re setting the recipients up for disappointment and resentment when they see there’s nothing interesting inside. Instead, you need a lump that rewards them for taking a peek.

Consider this example: A company is offering an exciting new sale and wants to position the deal as red-hot. They include a small package of red-hot cinnamon candy to create the lump. Not only is the package lumpy, but it includes something free (and arguably delicious), which people always love.

If you can make the lump specific to your business, it’s even better. For example, you might give readers a stuffed animal to advertise your veterinary services. The best part of lumpy mail is creativity—the enthusiasm you put into your lumpy mail is captured by the piece your prospects receive.

Once you’ve come up with a mailer that you like (click here for some sustainable ideas!), you should consider doing a split campaign with “flat mail” as the control. You should watch for whether the response rate for lumpy mail justifies the additional cost for a campaign. If you approach it well and add in a dose of luck, you just might see a huge bump in interest after you use lumpy mail on your next campaign.

Have you come across a great lumpy mail idea recently? Let us know! 

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