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Get Fat, Get Noticed: Increase response by adding some “bulk” to your direct mail

by | Aug 10, 2010 | Direct Marketing, Direct Mail | 0 comments

One of the big challenges of marketing with direct mail is getting your prospect to open it.

One way to overcome this obstacle is to include a “bulky item” in your envelope, something that adds some thickness – perhaps a curious bulge – to you mailing.

Some may scoff at this technique as “cheesy” or undignified. But it doesn’t have to be. And the fact is, it works. According to Chris Marlow, a freelance B2B copywriter with extensive direct response agency experience, open rates tend to be in the high double digits for such packages – close to 100%.

The reason? Dimensional mailings stand out from other mail. They get attention, and they get opened.

The downside, of course, is the added cost. But if your list is well-targeted and your offer enticing, significantly higher open rates will mean significantly higher eventual sales. You’re likely to be paid back many, many times over.

How to choose a “bulky item”

Your bulky item should relate in some way to either your product or service, or to the theme of the package you’re enclosing it with. It’s also a good idea to choose something that’s useful, so your prospect will hang onto it and remember you by it – like the items you hand out trade shows. A wide variety of corporate promotional items suitable for mailing can be found at sites like and

By way of an example, here’s an idea you might want to try. Say you’ve put together a free information kit offer – a white paper, a brochure, a couple of case studies, etc. – and you’re going to offer it to a well-targeted list of 500 hand-picked prospects. In the envelope, you include a small flash drive on a lanyard, both imprinted with your company logo and web address. Then, in your letter, you tell your prospects you’re giving them the flash drive so they can easily share your information kit with colleagues once they’ve registered and downloaded it.

Of course, your prospect could simply forward his or her colleagues the link to your landing page, where they can download your information kit themselves. In fact, you might even mention that in the letter. Because the point of including the flash drive in the envelope is not to provide storage for your free information kit. It’s to make your prospects curious about what’s inside your envelope, so they’ll open it and read your letter.

And here’s another plus. Because you don’t want your bulky gift to be destroyed or lost in the mail, you’ll send it in an insulated envelope. This makes it stand out even more. Now, it’s not just a letter… It’s a package!

And who can resist a package with their name on it?

Want to make sure your next lead-generation mailing gets opened and read by the maximum number of prospects possible? Consider adding some “bulk” to it.

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