Remember when you received a piece of mail that had a “bump” in it, so you knew there was “something” inside?
Didn’t you open the envelope to find out what was inside?
What you received was what some people call “lumpy mail” or “dimensional mail.”
The obvious purpose is to create curiosity so that you’ll look to see what’s inside.
One of the hurdles for promotional messages is simply to have the recipient open the envelope (or email) and hopefully read it. “Lumpy mail” is one way to get over that hurdle.
Charities widely use “lumpy mail” in combination with “guilt” by sending items with perceived value, such as return mailing address labels, greeting cards, and calendars. They use them because they work — more recipients make donations when they receive them.
“Lumpy mail” also works for other promotions. Many years ago, Reader’s Digest successfully sent a letter with two pennies enclosed with a related sales message to solicit new subscriptions. “An ancient Persian poet said: ‘If thou has two pennies, spend one for bread. With the other, buy hyacinths for thy soul.'” The clincher was, “Just slip a penny into the pocket in the enclosed card and mail today.”
Reader’s Digest couldn’t cost-effectively open the mail and envelopes returned undeliverable. The post office couldn’t destroy U.S. currency, so the members of the Mt. Kisco Boys Club opened them, extracting 50 million pennies. Half of them were returned to Reader’s Digest for future mailings. The other half paid for a new clubhouse for the Boys Club!
Just use your imagination for using this technique. For example, foil envelopes containing two aspirin are commonly stapled to letters with a message like, “Solve your tax return preparation headaches this tax season.” One resource for ideas is the Oriental Trading Company catalogue. There are other companies like 3-D Mail Results that specialize in “lumpy mail” inserts and unusual envelopes.
“Lumpy mail” is just one reason why direct mail is still a viable marketing medium. It’s still a cost-effective way to get your message read. Charities and political organizations continue using it because it’s their most lucrative method of raising money and they would go out of existence without it.
If you aren’t currently using “lumpy mail” for your marketing promotions, consider testing it as part of your marketing mix. I can help! Contact me for a complimentary initial consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org