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.

How To Integrate A Mobile Marketing Strategy

November 21, 2012


The mobile device is changing the way brands reach consumers and is challenging advertisers to interact with them in meaningful and engaging ways. The 3 best ways to integrate a mobile marketing strategy into your campaign are through QR codes, applications, and mobile advertisements, but before delivering your brands message to the small screen, you need to research your audience to make sure that going mobile will increase your return on investment.

Mobile consumers are always on the go and are a difficult target to zero in on. Chuck Martin wrote a book titled “The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile” and he tells the story of how mobile devices are changing consumer habits.

“The new wave of digital mobility is leading to what we call the untethered consumer. Untethered consumers are freed from the constraints of awaiting a broadcast message or any form of traditional online communication from a company. These post-PC consumers are on the move, and are willing and able to use their always on mobile technology to act and interact with each other and with providers of the products and services they seek out.”

Key findings from Pew Internet research on smart phone adoption and usage showed that 46% of American adults own smart phones. This is up from 35% in 2011. So how do we engage the untethered consumer on her daily journey through the android galaxy or iphone world?

Use QR codes to share your message and interact with your audience with useful information

The QR code is a fast way to bring your audience inside your brand without forcing content on anyone. The smart phone is a personal device and consumers want to have control over the information they read. Mobile consumers are more likely to scan a QR code than take a flyer about an event. Home depot uses QR codes on their plants and flowers. They lead people to pages full of information about how to take care of their plants.

Mobile applications must be designed with the end user in mind

As the mobile market grows, consumers will start to expect their favorite stores and brands to be in the app store just like they are on Facebook and Twitter. App development is a costly project and if you are serious about creating an app for your brand then you better make it stand out from your company website and be sure it offers something to your audience they can’t get anywhere else.

Ok. You just thought of a brilliant idea for an app. Now it’s time to answer these questions I’ve compiled from an article to help your decide whether an app is a good fit for your brand or not.

  • Do you have the time to do the care and feeding of a mobile app?

Maintaining an app is more time demanding than you think. Apps are not like microsites you can take down after a campaign. For an app to be successful it requires repeat visitors which means you must have time to refresh and develop new content. If you don’t, consider your app as scrap.

  • Are you trying to reach as many people as possible?

54% of Americans do not own a smart phone and will not be able to access your app. Do your research and determine how many of your customers are using these devices. Mobile apps require a strong understanding of your audience.

Create mobile advertisements that inform the viewer

“A movie is like a full-course meal, surfing the web is lunch, and mobile is snacking—constantly, constantly snacking,” Martin writes in The Third Screen. “Mobile content consumption is continuous, with no beginning, middle or end.”

Research indicates that mobile ads perform about five times better than Internet ads. When you engage your audience on their mobile device you are interrupting a text message, email or game so be quick with your ad and place it appropriately. To avoid your brand becoming a nuisance to a mobile users experience, create advertising that entertains or informs the viewer about your brand. It’s important to develop messages that consumers believe are fun.