Dimensional mail campaigns: Open packages open doors

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When should you consider creating a unique dimensional mail campaign? If you have a clear, specific target audience and an “A-list” you want to penetrate, you might consider this approach. However, you must have a big ticket offer to show strong ROI. The opportunity you're chasing has to make financial sense in the context of your marketing spending. Before you invest any money, make sure your targets are people your sales reps really want to see. You must have sales' cooperation, buy-in and input for the campaign to be a success. Your creative collateral and well-executed plan works only when the sales team wants to consummate the effort. In a perfect world, sales provides a prospect list of handpicked contacts for the campaign. If you need to purchase a starter list, it must precisely match the targeted criteria. The sky's the limit in terms of your creative. An implied or overt connection between your dimensional mail piece and the product is good, but a package of any dimension gets noticed. We use UPS or FedEx two-day delivery to bring a different level of urgency to the package. One of our most successful dimensional mail campaigns included the delivery of a 2½-foot Robosapien programmable robot. Size alone is an advantage in cutting through the stacks of letter- and legal-size mail on an executive's desk. The real key, however, is human nature. People will open a box to see what's inside. The Robosapien box had multiple elements and highly personalized touch points. Hangtags on the robot delivered a call to action even if the pieces became separated. The copy itself was very light, mentioning the solution but nothing technical. The objective was to sell an appointment. And it worked. We got through to CIOs and IT directors, among the very top categories of most-pursued executives, essentially with a toy. You can gain access with the unexpected, the really cool and creative. Playing to human nature hits the sweet spot. Here's another example: To exploit the intense interest in online poker, we set up a microsite for a client where prospects played games, competed and learned more about the client's particular solution. When they accepted a sales call, their reps brought along nice poker sets. Let your own creative approach evolve as a free-form activity that takes shape as strategies and ideas develop. Your call to action should direct the prospect to a highly personalized microsite to encourage a visit. Sometimes the message is vanilla, sometimes it carries a bigger informational stick. The key is to offer deeper insight into the solution you're offering. A good microsite allows the prospect to discover more information and decide he's not interested or is warming up to the prospect of a meeting. This piece of the campaign should also be highly personalized, with click-throughs that include the prospect and target company names and logos. We follow up our dimensional mail piece five days after the package hits the desk with a call from our skilled phone team. The phone team knows the name of the reps who will be calling on the prospect and drops their names throughout the conversations. Association by name is a strong driver in setting appointments. It also doesn't hurt when the rep is going to deliver a remote control for the robot. Craig Conard is president of direct-marketing company Sudden Impact Marketing, Columbus, Ohio ( He can be reached at [email protected]
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