If your daily mail consisted of a stack of flat letters, cards, circulars, and a package, which would grab your attention? The package, or dimensional mail, naturally.
Packages and other examples of dimensional mail stand out by virtue of their shape and bulk, so of course they catch our eye. Your market will react the same way, which is why you should consider sending ‘lumpy mail’ as part of a direct mail campaign.
Dimensional mail campaigns are dramatically effective in producing great results. Whether you send something in a box, a tube, or you tuck a very cool gift inside an odd-sized envelope, recipients will notice.
Research shows that well-executed dimensional mail campaigns are highly effective. In a recent Response Rate Report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) showed that a 3D campaign, when compared with a flat direct mail campaign, can outperform the flat mailings by 200 – 300%. Even more significant is their finding that dimensional mail averaged the highest response rate of any direct response medium, at 5.49%.
With such a high response rate, this type of campaign is worth a look-see, even though it will cost you more than a traditional flat campaign. You just need to plan your mailing strategically and make it memorable.
Any time you move away from standard-sized and -shaped direct mail items, you could increase your production costs. Here’s a tip: print materials based on multiples of 8 ½ x 11” are standard for printing presses (as well as the post office). When you go to other sizes or alter the dimensions of a flat mailing drastically, you might pay more for printing and for mailing.
As you start planning a dimensional mailing – such as a boxed package, something delivered in a tube, or even a padded envelope – know that your costs will rise. But since your response rates will likely improve, it’s something you should consider.
Other key elements to think about are when to send dimensional mail, to whom, and of course, what you should send.
When’s the right time in a campaign to send something dimensional?
As a “first touch”? To move a prospect closer to a sale? Perhaps to attract registrants to an upcoming event? Maybe to thank someone for downloading a white paper or attending your webinar? All of these reasons are valid, and there are many more. You need to work out the strategy with your team.
Who should get your dimensional piece?
That’s another element to consider. Based on your objective and your budget, identify who gets a particular 3D mailing. Some marketers produce different pieces for different lists. For example, if you’ve segmented your list by size of account, you could send more expensive mail campaigns to the larger accounts. Similarly, you could create an amazing, unique dimensional mailer for key decision makers only. Or make dimensional mail pieces a part of your loyalty program. There are lots of options.
Creating a dimensional mail campaign is the exciting part. There’s practically no limit to what you can produce. If you’re using the USPS for delivery, you just need to ensure that whatever
you’re planning can be mailed. Almost anything can – even a coconut! – but work with your print partner and mail specialist to design your package with the delivery method in mind.
Here are some neat examples of memorable dimensional campaigns:
A leading medical website sent personalized packages filled with healthy snacks, a catalog highlighting their company’s benefits, and a personalized postcard.
A developer of a hybrid disk and a flash storage sent a Japanese takeout container (a bento box) to prospects. It contained chopsticks, a picture of sushi and a mockup of a $150 gift card. Those who completed a demo were sent a real $150 gift card to a sushi restaurant in their area.
A database software company sent customers personalized packages with a varied combination of goodies, depending on the account size. Some received branded calendars or pens, while others received branded bags of caramels.
So your dimensional campaign can include items produced and personalized for your list, then inserted in a box, envelope or tube. The other big thing to remember is that some print partners can produce dimensional mail. Some presses can print on a wide range of materials and substrates – like wood, tile, textiles, magnets, ceramic, and even glass.
Dimensional mail done the right way can pack a punch like no other marketing campaign. We all get excited about packages, particularly when they’re a surprise. And just like that, we’re kids again, opening a birthday or holiday gift. For a while, we forget about everything else but what’s inside that box.