It's 7:00 in the morning, you just had a sip of your morning coffee. You decided to bring it with you as you get your mail. As you open your mailbox, a rush of joy electrifies you after seeing a lumpy mail on top of the other usual ones. You rush back in like a kid excited to open his birthday gift.
Direct Mail Marketing
There is no clear timestamp in history as to when direct mail marketing started. All we know is that, as early as the 15th century, direct mail marketing has already been practiced. In fact, Aldus Manutius, an Italian humanist, scholar, and educator, printed a catalog of the books he was selling. There have been many figures in history that shaped the practice of direct marketing.
Still, it was only in 1967 that the father of contemporary direct marketing, Lester Wunderman, identified "direct marketing." Wunderman is also the founder of the toll-free 1-800 number and created some of the biggest loyalty programs. Wunderman shaped direct marketing into the trillion-dollar industry it is today.
Direct mail marketing, or direct response marketing, is a communication method to give out offers to a portion of customers pre-selected by a business. The criteria for selection may include purchase history and average income.
Is Direct Mail Marketing dying?
In the film "Why Him?", Bryan Cranston plays Ned Fleming, the CEO of a printing company that's been plummeting in revenue because of the email revolution. Although it may be plausible, is it accurate?
By the time television sets skyrocketed in popularity and sales, a common gossip says that the days of radio are numbered in the 1950s. Now, as we are thriving through the 2020s, radio stations are still operating. Radio survived the test of time, despite TV enthusiasts projecting its supposed death.
The same is true with direct mail marketing. When the internet broke out in the late 1990s and early 2000s, people assumed email would completely take over the post office and render the mailman jobless.
As one cannot watch TV while driving on an interstate highway, one cannot experience shows visually on the radio. Both TV and radio have their own strengths.
Although email marketing is a cheaper alternative to direct mail, emails cannot excite their recipients the way direct mail does. As a matter of fact, 90% of direct mails are being opened, compared to email's 20-30%.
Despite the technological infusions to traditional businesses, direct mail marketing is still a thriving industry, which consists of half of all snail mails sent.
What is Lumpy Marketing?
Dictionary.com defines the word lump as 'a protuberance or swelling.' so, as an adjective, lumpy is characterized by its irregular shape. Lumpy mails are used as a marketing tool because of their ability to stand out from the other standard, boring mails. Lumpy mails transform mailboxes into gift boxes.
Say you receive two gifts, one in an envelope and another in a box. The box clearly contains a bigger present, while the envelope may have a heartfelt letter or cash. Which would you open first?
If you are like me, you would immediately grab a box cutter and slash open the box. You may or may not be pleased or surprised with what you will find inside, but the box surely added a pinch of thrill to the gift. Lumpy marketing takes advantage of this thrill.
To sum up, lumpy mails are gifts from the business owner to its prospective customers. A long-prevailing question most businesses have when they come across this concept is cost. Is it worth it?
Numbers Don't Lie
In the last two decades, we have seen a technological shift in marketing. Still, until today, more than half (58% to be exact) of all direct mails in the US is advertising or marketing mail, which still makes it a 20-billion-dollar business.
According to a research conducted by Gallup in 2015, 4 in 10 Americans look forward to getting their mails each day. The study also posits that 83% of the respondents feel positively about receiving and opening packages.
When it comes to the response rates, direct mail is also king. In a 2018 study by the Direct Marketing Association, there is a 9% response rate for house lists while prospect lists record a 5%. That shows an increase from 5.1% and 2.9% respectively from the previous year.
Keep in mind that these are just direct mail statistics. There is a belief in the industry that lumpy mails get opened 100% of the time. And did you know that 65% of gift receivers said they were likely to share their experience with others online?
So, when you combine that lumpy mail campaign with a great website (which we could help you out with), you can watch your business boom.
Your Lumpy Way to Success
Of course, coming up with a successful lumpy marketing campaign is no piece of cake, considering the investment it entails. Worry not, because we have come up with four tips to help you mold an effective campaign.
Know your message
In a recent lumpy mail campaign, The Economist, a weekly publication, gave away balloons printed with a brain and their logo. This implies that consuming their content will make you smarter. This clever campaign was clearly mind-blowing (pun intended).
Know your audience
This involves curating your mail list into the most probable customers. You may know them by their age group, average income, and purchase activity. Knowing your audience's interests and working towards them will add more value to the gifts you will be sending.
Know your budget
It goes without saying that a lumpy mail campaign could warrant businesses, big and small, to dig a bit deeper into their pockets. Hence, knowing your limits will guarantee the return will be bigger than the investment itself.
Know your copy
As important as your gift is the piece of paper that comes along with it. A great copy material will strengthen the gift and most likely will work to convert prospects into paying customers.
Are you ready to invest in a lumpy mail campaign? Here's a list of the gifts you could give your future customers.
40 Lumpy Mail Ideas
First Aid Kits
Comb/ Hair Brushes
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