The Role of “Lumpy Mail” in B2B Digital Direct Marketing

February 27, 2014

How a Direct Mail technique can get a digital response


Every successful Direct Mail Marketer knows that “lumpy mail” doubles the response of “flat mail”. Lumpy mail is anything with more volume, larger dimensions, weight, texture or bumps than normal mail. It might even make noise when shaken.

Successful B2B Direct Mail Campaign for WYANDOT Inc.

Lumpy mail gets better results because it peaks curiosity. What could be inside? Is it a gift? Most recipients will open lumpy mail, because they just have to know.

I would argue that this technique could be just as useful in the digital arena. To me there is no difference between offering a small gift or surprise in an envelope or offering it by Email. The trick is to be creative about how you package and deliver your content.

Here are the 3 things you should do to get results from Lumpy Emails:

Offer a Surprise

In Digital Direct Marketing, Email is the closest thing to mailing a letter to someone’s house, and your subject line is the envelope. Don’t waste those few precious words telling the reader about your brand. Instead, entice your customers with the promise of a gift or the ability to do something fun. Remember the “Elf Yourself” campaign OfficeMax launched in 2006? Imagine emailing a customer to invite them to elf themselves. That’s pretty lumpy Email, if you ask me. Try to think of something similar that reflects your brand or current campaign.

Keep it Light

You’ve gotten your customer to open your lumpy Email. Now what? You don’t want to lose them by switching into sales mode. Keep it light and give them what you promised. Whether it’s a silly online game, the ability to create an avatar or a link to a funny YouTube video, make sure what’s inside is as funny or interesting as they expect. Ideally, tie it back into your brand. The idea is to sponsor a little bit of fun in exchange for their attention. Once you’ve delivered that fun, they will be more open to your call to action.

Ask for What You Want

Like any marketing campaign, decide what you want the customer to do and deliver that message last. If you want them to call your office, take your call, visit a website, or provide personal information, make it crystal clear. You gave them something, so they will be more likely to return the favor.

Have you ever sent something you considered to be Lumpy Email? Was it successful? Share your comments and stories with me by emailing I’ll share your responses in a future post.

Marketing Made in USA Products to Baby Boomers

September 6, 2013

3 reasons your American-made brand should target the “me” generation



Baby Boomers are more interested than ever before in buying Made in the USA products. That may be a large part of why the American-made movement has grown so quickly in recent years. If you are marketing a Made in the USA product, be sure you are taking the time to understand the motivations of your largest market. Here are 3 reasons why:

They Have the Buying Power

Baby Boomers are the largest consumer group in America. Even in a recession, they still account for a whopping 40% of total consumer demand. Boomers control 70% of the total net worth of American households, own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations, and spend more money disproportionately to their numbers.

They Actively Seek Out American-Made

An April 2012 Gallup poll revealed that baby boomers are much more likely to buy American-made products than their younger counterparts. The survey polled more than 1,000 adults and found that 53% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 seek out products made in America when shopping. Conversely, only about 20% of shoppers under 30 actively shop for Made in the USA products. Baby Boomers are reaching out with open arms to embrace the Made in America movement. Be sure your brand is reaching back.

They are Conscientious Consumers

Baby Boomers have a long, proud history of being cause-conscious, and they vote with their wallets. To them, buying American is no longer just about blind patriotism. It is a socially conscious choice that helps keep jobs in our country, stimulates our economy, and lets corporations know that they will not stand for the pollution, human rights abuses and poor quality that foreign manufacturers accept as part of trade. I even found a baby boomer advocacy website that sums up all of the reasons why socially conscious boomers are buying American:

It’s worth checking out, because these are also great selling points for your American-made product.

Baby Boomers as a group are loyal to buying American-made products, and they have the money to back it up. If you are marketing a Made in the USA brand, and you don’t already have a fully integrated strategy for reaching this target market, I hope I have convinced you that it is time.

Questions or comments? I’d like to hear what you think. Contact me at

Marketing Made in the USA Products Regains Popularity

August 20, 2013

5 reasons “American-made” resonates with consumers

Over the last two decades, Americans have had little interest in USA made products. Almost everything Americans were buying (includimarketingmadeintheUSAbrandsng the little flags we waved on the 4th of July) was cheaply produced in foreign countries like Taiwan and China, and the trade deficit continued to grow. Luckily, that is beginning to change, as American-made products are suddenly regaining popularity and driving sales. And it’s not just about sentimental patriotism anymore. Here are 5 reasons today’s consumers are looking to buy products that are made in the USA:

Job Creation

According to a Boston Consulting Group survey released in November 2012, over 80% of Americans say they are willing to pay more for Made in the USA products. 93% sited wanting to keep jobs in the USA as the main reason. It’s not hard to understand that after years in a recession and rampant unemployment, Americans are starting to feel the consequences of importing more than we export. Now Americans are voting with their wallets and making smarter buying decisions in order to tip the scales back in our favor.

The Environment

Many consumers take an interest in simplifying the supply chain, reducing our carbon footprint, and protecting the environment. For this reason, locally sourced products very popular. In a global economy, American-made is the equivalent of locally sourced, and consumers feel good knowing products are made “in their own backyards.” More importantly, America has stricter environmental laws than countries like China where there are unacceptable levels of pollution levels from manufacturing plants. That makes buying American an easy choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

Human Rights

The same consumers that are concerned about the environment are also concerned about protecting human resources. They understand that many countries exploit their own people, including children, to make a profit.  When consumers buy American, they can be more certain that proper labor and fair trade laws have been followed.

 Better Safety Standards

Some foreign countries do not set even minimum safety standards for the products they manufacture. For example, China ships tens of thousands of toys that contain poisonous lead paint to the US every year.  When consumers buy American, they have more peace of mind knowing that standards are in place to protect them.

Higher Quality

Many consumers have finally grown tired of cheaply made foreign goods, and they are willing to pay a premium for quality, American-made products. When marketing Made in the USA products, a focus on traditional craftsmanship and quality is key.

As you can see, the new Made in the USA market is more sophisticated, informed and socially conscious than ever before. To drive sales, you’ll want to ditch the old approach of appealing to patriotism and spend more time providing quality information about your manufacturing processes, company heritage and high standards.

For more information about marketing American-made products, contact

Employ Digital Marketing Experts to Optimize Online Presence

September 20, 2012

Integrating Digital Advertising & Marketing Communications


Today’s digital information age has brought about big lifestyle changes for people everywhere. More and more frequently, people can be found in front of their computers and not just for work.  Surfing the web for entertainment, news, and social interaction is the new normal. Newspaper subscriptions are dwindling because folks are going online to read the most current news, check sports scores, or see the latest gossip.  The television viewing habits and DVD rentals of global citizens have been affected because of easy (and often free) online access to favorite programs. The music industry had to change the way it generates revenue all together since the advent of music downloads.  Progress has made the web an interactive medium, where people enjoy the connection it provides to others, the accessibility to products and information, and the way it brings the world to them.

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What Drives Our Advertising Agency

August 16, 2012

How Keychains Obtain “Key Information” For Marketers and Advertisers Through Customer Loyalty Programs

We use our keychains every day to open the house, start the car and even store mega bites of information with. It’s interesting to see what we have dangling on our key chains and everything is on them for a reason. Do you fumble around searching for that single key because your key chain is clustered with so many gadgets and gizmos? You never know when the pocket knife is going to save the day. Everyones keychain is different but they all have one thing in common that gives marketers and advertisers a channel to make an impact with your brand: we take our keychains with us everywhere and we have them on our side at all times. Key chains are a great way to increase sales and help guide your marketing efforts. It is done in the form of customer loyalty cards.

Customer loyalty cards are a great tool for small businesses to get repeat business, obtain demographic information about buyers and track shopping habits. This information will help you track the success of your marketing efforts.

Here are the facts about customer loyalty cards

  • When the card is scanned, the information about the customer is sent to a data base that tracks information on what was purchased and what rewards are available to the customer.
  • Reward cards can be punch cards that you use at a coffee shop to receive a free cup of coffee after buying 9 cups
  • Loyalty cards encourage repeat business by offering special offers pertaining to the members of the business
  • The data captured via customer loyalty cards can be used to help your business keep stock on the products you sell the most of

Here are the keys of the Clay Creative team. Check out what drives us everyday!

These belong to our President and Clay Creative founder, Frank. He runs the show each day. Opens up the doors in the morning and locks them at night. He has access to every room in the building and is a member at urban active.

I have a feeling this set of keys belongs to our
in house photographer Chris Staley.
Chris is prepared to transfer music and photos at a moments notice.
Vice President and Creative Director Mike Meirow keeps a model of his Azzura convertible in his pocket as a charm to prevent hit and runs. 

Social media manager Jordan Youtz flaunts his Scandinavian heritage and racks up speedy rewards when he’s out on the road.
  Vice President and Account Director Jessica Clay “lives in the moment” of fitness. Jessica Clay is an avid athlete and health nutrition marketing blogger who always has one finger on her own pulse and another on the pulse of what’s new in health marketing.

5 Branding Questions That You Must Ask Yourself To Stand Out From The Crowd

August 9, 2012


Building a brand is one of the most important aspects of developing a business and is the key to successful marketing.

A brand should be easily recognized by it’s audience and position itself in the light it wants to be seen in. After the brand is established in the marketplace, your company should strive to achieve brand loyalty so customers will select your products over competitors. The web provides marketers with new ways to deliver their message to their audience and keeping your message consistent has never been so tricky. What you say in your collateral and direct mail pieces should also resonate throughout your social media marketing.

An effective way to maintain brand loyalty is to keep treatment of the brand and all messaging consistent across all marketing platforms. Your online advertising, social media content and promotional material need to be at the forefront of any developing campaign and need to communicate with each other.

Our brand-development team at Clay Creative specializes in combining smart strategy with award-winning creativity. We understand the importance of customer insight and core marketing research and apply this approach to strengthen a brand. Before beginning any brand-building project, remember these 5 questions:

  1. Who are you now?
  2. What is your corporate culture?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. Who are your customers?
  5. Who do you want to be?

The answers to these questions act as a formula to allow the branding process to run as smooth as possible. A cohesive brand starts with evaluating these answers and using them to design a logo and differentiate your company from it’s competition. Understanding your customers and creating consistent content throughout a campaign will make a bigger impact on your audience. To achieve the very best results, our market research division continually measures the success of a branding program through focus groups, customer surveys, and employee feedback.  This information is incorporated into ongoing brand strategy to keep improving an organization’s return on investment and ensure its success.