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.

Connecting The Gap Between Advertising History and Modern Execution

September 21, 2012

2 Ways To Rejuvenate and Energize Your Brand

We invite you to check out our agency website where you will find a home page full of iconic history memorabilia. What inspired the decision to infuse our company culture in such a way and where do president Eisenhower and Rosie the Riveter find their place at Clay Creative? Even marketers learn from history and we stick to the roots of advertising and adapt your brand to modern day society to enhance every impression you make with your audience.

20th century advertising changed the way brands and products reached the consumer and it brought us break through ideas to connect with them. Take for example the brilliant print execution for the gasoline company Esso. This is when research met consumer insight and an emotional connection with car drivers was created.

A tiger represents playfulness and power and driver’s behind the wheel enjoy just that so Esso used a tiger mascot to portray the brand insight…Voila.

There weren’t smart phones, digital applications and social media when we started. The basic principles that we’ve learned from past advertising must be applied to todays new media. For over 25 years we’ve been creating strong brands for our clients. Cultural norms shift every year and the technology we have today that didn’t exist in the 50’s allows us to connect your brand to your audience through hundreds of advertising channels.

The famous brands we’ve grown up with and have used our entire lives did not evolve over night. It takes strategy, research and brand development to keep your brand alive in the 21st century. Here are 2 ways for your brand to reach its’ maximum potential.

1. Adapt to new cultural norms: Our society has evolved into a multi-tasking time constrained world where consumers are connecting to your brand in more ways than one and your brand must adapt to the change.

  • Does your audience read the newspaper or browse the web with a smart phone. Keep in mind your demographics when targeting your audience.
  • How does your audience benefit from using your product?
  • There is a big difference between focusing on product attributes and product experience. Since product attributes portray your product as easy to use or physically appealing, focus on these for clothing and home entertainment products.
  • How do people use your product and where are they using it?

2. Execute product re-launches and brand extension: Just because you have a top selling product or service doesn’t mean you don’t have to create something new.

  • Consumers are interested in what is new and newsworthy. Think about it, it’s why we pick up newspapers and magazines.
  • Release relevant information about your products through social media.
  • Expand your brand through releasing newly updated versions of a product. Apple is a master at this. iPhone users scoot to the edge of their seat every year and anticipate a new phone with different software and new capabilities.
  • Learn how your customers use your products.
  • Always remember there are ways to expand your brand no matter how simple your products are.


How To Decipher Marketing Channels In a Digital World

September 19, 2012

3 Steps On How and Where To Get The Most Out Of Your Advertising

Let’s face it. Technology has been knocking at the door long enough for advertisers to realize that they should open it up and welcome digital strategy into their marketing plan. Does that mean placing traditional advertising such as direct mail and radio on the back burner?

The answer is more complex than no…

The digital platform has multiplied advertising channels by tenfold and gives your brand more opportunities to reach your audience. At the same time, however, your brand is faced with a budget that requires you to choose the channels that will provide you the biggest ROI. You can’t be everywhere at once.

We’ve compiled a list of 3 marketing concepts that you must follow when you sit down and ask yourself, “Where will I advertise next”?

  1. Research your competition: Brands in your category have been using specific marketing channels for years. The food and beverage industry for example is known for using digital coupons that allow people to print out coupons from company websites, email blasts or social media outlets. Some advertisers will find success using the most popular channels in their category but it’s important to look beyond the norm and take advantage of the channels your competitors have not used, thus approaching consumers from a new angle.
  2. Use organic search (SEO) to send online traffic to your company website. People are showing an interest in your product when they read and interact with it online. SEO methods are highly trackable and easy to monitor. Your company can execute SEO through blogs, company news articles or through social media outlets. Remember: all content on the web is searchable!
  3. Social Media: You can use social media to connect with your audience and build relationships around your brand. It is initially overwhelming to consider which social media outlets will work best for your business model so here is a break down.
  • Linked In: great to use for business to business
  • Facebook: with 850 million people on this social network, it is a good outlet for every business
  • Pinterest: great for brands with visual products such as photography, culinary arts and retail and popular among women. Not a good choice for law firms or insurance
  • Twitter: great to use for reaching out to other companies to meet bloggers

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.

3 Advertising Agency Tips On “Socializing” Your Event Marketing

July 19, 2012


Advertising campaigns constantly bombard their audience with a general message while event marketing targets a specific group of people at a gathering, makes strong impressions and engages with participants…in case you didn’t know.

I remember the long nights I spent studying at the library till’ the sun came out. Students would start dozing off and everyone’s energy would dwindle until the Red Bull fairies came around and passed out free cans of Red Bull like candy on Halloween. That’s event marketing. Another example was when I stepped inside a tent during a concert and was greeted by 2 girls that were giving away Swedish Snus. They verified I was 18 or older, quickly jotted down my address and then handed out vouchers for a free Monster Energy drink.

Strong connections are made when event marketing is paired with the right demographic and target. When you bring social media into the mix, you will increase your word of mouth advertising and strengthen these connections.

Social media has changed the way we collect information and event planners need to embrace the new media in order to increase the effectiveness of their event and to allow their message to resonate louder and longer with their audience.

Whether your preparing for an upcoming trade show or launching a new product at a concert, follow these 3 thorough tips from Clay Creative to help you socialize your event and expand your word of mouth marketing efforts.

  1. Actively use Twitter throughout your event to keep your audience in the loop! Twitter is a great place to generate buzz and awareness during your event. Use it to announce guest speakers, give-a-ways and contests. Encourage people to Tweet during the event.
  2. Create a facebook page for your event and use it as a pre-event promotion. When designing your page, remember to include the date and time along with pictures. Use your event page wall to share information about speakers, links to the event agenda and photos of a previous event.
  3. If your in a booth setting, provide your audience with a QR code to scan that takes them to a video related to your event. You won’t have time to talk to everyone but it’s important to make an impression on as many people as possible.

There are many ways to execute an event marketing campaign and no matter which route you choose to take, keep in mind that social media tools will allow your campaign to attract more people and make longer lasting impressions.

Advertising Agency Practices What They Preach In New Direct Marketing Campaign

July 13, 2012


We recently coined a new word called “Mailamorphisis”. In a nutshell, direct marketing is changing and advertisers and marketers must utilize social media to increase their ROI for all direct marketing endeavors.

Imagine direct marketing as a caterpillar that wiggled itself into your mailbox and inbox and created a cocoon. We’ll call him Frank. The ruckus outside his home always bothers him and he has to put up with his door being slammed shut all day. One day Frank woke up with a pair of wings and decided to create a new life. He became the “Social Butterfly” and the talk of the town! Take advantage of social media and give your direct marketing some wings. We did!

This week we embarked on a direct marketing promotional campaign that shines a light on the capabilities of Clay Creative. We’ll admit that we raised our glasses high and did a toast to our new website. We are also giving away free vintage metal advertising signs when you join in on the celebration. See below!

click to enlarge

We followed our secrets of direct marketing, integrated social media technology and juiced up the promotion by remaining consistent with our brand identity and company culture. 

  1. Sell the offer: We designed our mail piece to give the recipient a clear understanding of the offer. We included our contact information and website. Always remember that a direct mail piece should sell the offer, not the product or service itself.
  2. Include a time limit and create a sense of urgency with a clearly stated timeframe for the offer. To avoid generic phrases like “Limited time only” or “only 50 left”, we used a casual copy that briefly states that “the first 20 people to visit the new website will receive one of these vintage replica metal advertising signs”.
  3. Provide your recipient with a new way of engaging with your offer and brand. We created a QR code (quick response) to increase the response rate of the offer and to drive them to our new website.
  4. Brand your offer and direct mail piece with your company logo, culture and personality. The origins of advertising is part of our company and we are giving away vintage advertising signs to strengthen that concept.
Here is the link to the landing page of our promotion to check out for yourself.

Advertising Agency Results To Be Proud Of

June 29, 2012


Earlier this week we talked about the “Relationships” aspect of our tagline. We touched on how social media is a great way to stay connected with your audience and we deciphered the difference between relationships built through social media and face-to-face communication. What do we gain from our relationships? What is to show for all the meetings, emails, phone calls, conferences and video chat sessions that we find ourselves in daily?

With every project there comes a deadline and Clay Creative remains focused on maintaining strong relationships throughout every step of the way. These strong relationships allow us to work together to increases your return on investment, attract your audience and sharpen your overall brand image. On time, on budget and on point!

We’d like to highlight a few testimonials from our favorite clients to show you what “Results” mean to us.

The success we’ve shared with our clients is a result of paying attention to detail and creating long term relationships:

“Thank you for designing the PowerPoint slides and handouts for my presentation at the Critical Care Congress in San Francisco. I’m so happy you handled this project because everything looks fantastic. Your attention to detail made it a huge success.”

~Dr. Alessandro Pontes-Arruda, Head of Intensive Care Unit
Fernandes Tavora Hospital, Fortaleza, Brazil

We believe every brand has a story to tell and we take the initiative to pack the novel full of pages. Whether your brainstorming ideas to take on an upcoming promotion or execute a new direct mailing campaign, our quick turnaround, top creative and cost effective solutions are designed to improve your bottom line:

“We were in the midst of researching ideas when we received a promotional piece on a metal license plate that read: CRE8TIVE. It was from Clay Creative, and we wasted no time contacting them. Our experience with Clay Creative has been very productive; just look at our sales growth over the years!”

~Ron Boylan, Manager Scotts Training Institute, The Scotts Company

Long term relationships accomplish long term goals:

“Thanks to Clay Creative for helping us to understand the need for a long-term marketing plan. What began as a specific effort to market just one area blossomed into a marketing plan designed to represent our entire facility. As part of that plan, Clay Creative worked with us from developing a positioning statement to a new logo and a capabilities brochure. The results have been fabulous, and our employees feel great about the message and the quality product we deliver.”

~Jeffrey, Marketing Director
Health Care Nutrition

We believe that collaborative efforts and strong relationships lead to successful results. Results that bring our clients back to take on any size project for all types of business. Thanks for your time and we look forward to the relationships we have yet to create and the results that follow!