It’s amazing what we can be persuaded to do when a little something is offered up to us as an incentive. We’ll add extra goodies to our shopping trolley just because we’ve been given a morsel by that very nice point of sale person. At an exhibition we are persuaded to part with our business details even book a meeting for a small gift. We’ll visit that new cafe because we’ve been given a voucher for a cake with our latte and we’ll consider changing our car insurance just to get our mitts on a meerkat! The fact is that when in these situations, our emotions dominate our decision-making process sometimes at the expense of our rational thought processes. At that point in time we allow ourselves to be dazzled by the prospect of something extra and so take actions we had not planned. Of course, as rational business people in the cold light of day distanced from such scenarios we can scoff at this. But the inescapable fact remains that a little extra something can shift our decision making process so that we become open to buy.

So what’s all this got to do with lumpy mail?

Well, pretty much the same principle applies. You add a lumpy element to the envelope and, provided you are not insulting the intelligence of the recipient with said lumpy element, the likelihood is that your sales letter will get a positive reception and the recipient may well pick up the phone, go to the website, book a meeting. And from that a sale can ensue.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that lumpy mail can’t move mountains in the B2B world. It can.

For example when Tek Express, a Sussex-based business wanted to promote their laptop swap out service to 5 key decision-makers from 5 national brands they tried everything before resorting to lumpy mail. Telemarketing had failed to reach the decision-makers; a traditional “lumpy free” mailshot failed to have the desired impact and as for email? Forget about it. And so as a last resort they decided on a highly targeted mailshot to the five decision-makers. It comprised of a Parker pen engraved with the initials of each decision-maker and a letter which explained why they were going to such lengths. They wanted to show the decision-makers just how personal and attentive their services were but that it was extremely hard to reach the person and convey this message. This was pretty much a last attempt. The cost of each mailshot was £40 – not cheap by any means, but given the value of a contract was at least five figures it was a risk worth taking. What happened? Three of the five decision-makers contacted Tek Express within days of receiving the lumpy mailshot, expressing their delight at the engraved pens and enquiring about their services. Within three weeks the first contract was awarded to them by one of the decision makers and more business followed.

Now, let’s look at this rationally. The only difference with this last campaign over previous efforts was the inclusion of a nice pen. The fact that the pen was engraved with the initials of the recipient meant that it would not be given away. Simple and it worked.

Today, you may be considering adding a small promotional gift or a product sample to your mailshot to make it lumpy and intriguing. Tomorrow, it may be something more substantial. But don’t overlook the importance that lumpy mail plays in moving a prospect or client along that crucial communication continuum – from awareness into interest then evaluation and desire before finally action.

Related Topics: Direct Marketing