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Dimensional Mail – 9 demand generation tips

Alyssa Rimmer
Sep 16, 2011 12:51:00 PM  |  Alyssa Rimmer

A dimensional mailer is a promotional piece that is anything other than your normal, humdrum, flat envelope mailer. Dimensional mail is a fantastic way to increase demand generation, which makes it a great component of any B2B marketing strategy.

Dimensional mailers can be costly – for packaging, posting, and design. So why use a dimensional mailer vs. a plain sales letter or postcard? Simply put, because people open them. Research from Baylor University shows that dimensional mail has 20 times the penetrating power and boosts demand generation by as much as 75% over flat direct mail, according to a study by Baylor University for the Promotional Products Association . So even though you are investing more money up front, it is a deliverable that will garner a high return on investment (ROI).

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It makes perfect sense when you think about your mailbox every day – you get a stack of bills, credit card applications, and sales fliers as thick as your arm. And what do you do with all of that? Most of the time, before you even open it, you tear it into little pieces and toss it out.

Then imagine one day, you – or the gatekeeper to your targeted CEO’s or IT managers- have a box, or a tube, or something that looks….special. Is it a gift that you’ve gotten? Did you order something for yourself and then forget it was coming? It gives you a feeling of excitement, that you are about to open something that is going to make you happy.

The same thing goes for receptionists and executive assistants at the businesses you are trying to reach. They get an even thicker stack of bills and direct flat mail, and they don’t waste their time or their manager’s by opening it all. But a box? No way would they throw that out without opening it. It could be an important package, or it could be a free gift from a vendor, which is always a cause for excitement.

So getting your prospects to open their package is half the battle, but the whole point of your B2B marketing strategy is to create demand generation - an ROI that goes beyond simply putting a smile on your prospect’s face. You want them to do something – visit a website, call for an appointment with you, email a sales associate, etc.

A cheap, mass-produced item sends the message that you don’t value the prospect, and it reflects poorly on you.  To get your prospect to actually do something beyond opening the box, it’s important to have a high-quality idea that is well thought out and executed superbly.

Here are nine qualities that every dimensional mailer should posses:

Demanding – Make it absolutely clear what you want your prospect to do with a  strong and obvious call to action. Make them an offer (i.e., a free consultation), and give them an incentive to call you NOW. For example, we sent a working remote control racecar to a select few prospects without the remote , and the messaging inside urged them to schedule a consultation in order to receive their remote. Tricky, but effective!

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Example of a clear, bod Call-to-Action - a phone pre-set to dial the CEO of a company

Compelling – if you’re going to think outside the box (ironically, by putting something in a box), you might as well push it a little. Create a dimensional mailer with a clever, relevant concept, and carry that concept through everything from the design to the messaging. The point is to create an experience – an excitement that they received this special package, a wow factor that what you produced is creative and interesting, and copy that will compel your prospect to do what you want them to do.

Cool! – Give them something for free – a fun toy that goes along with your concept, a sample of your product if applicable. You want them to open the package and say “Cool!”The wow factor from your concept is what makes your dimensional mailer memorable and worth talking about. 

Capsite_Viewmaster31-300x200-1Viewfinder with custom disk targeted at health care CTOs

Lasting – Ideas with staying power have the most potential for demand generation. Make your mailer and/or the gift that’s included an object that is functional. It should be something that your prospect will display in their office and interact with often. Make sure the object/toy/gift is branded with your company name and logo, so that as the prospect sees or interacts with it, they’ll think of your company. Perhaps they’re not ready for your services now, but when budgets are updated and they are ready to engage someone, your client will already be in mind.

01_grass-300x293-1Grass is greener when...Lasting as it sits on a desk until a need arises

Targeted – you’ve probably heard the adage, “narrow your focus, broaden your appeal.” You don’t want to send this costly piece to just anyone. As part of your B2B marketing strategy, you will have already done your research on your target markets. You will see the highest ROI if you send it only to well-qualified leads who not only have the need for your product or service, but also already have some knowledge of your company and its brand.

Relevant & Concise – Tell them something they didn’t already know about your company – or about the industry in which they work. Include a letter or a postcard, but don’t get too copy heavy. The point is to intrigue them enough that they’ll want to find out more by calling or visiting your website.

Consistent – Make sure the logos, colors, and typefaces are consistent with the company brand. If you’re sending your dimensional mailer to the right people, they will recognize your company name and might be confused if your mailer is drastically different than your brand.

Integrated – Don’t just send out your dimensional mailer and wait for the phone to ring. Include this mailer as a part of a larger campaign that aligns to the goals of your B2B marketing strategy. Create a landing page that the mailer directs prospects to. Send a follow-up email that with a link to that page. Make sure all the elements are consistent with your brand and your concept.

Practical – Consider the logistics and the price of mailing out of the ordinary shapes and sizes. It’s fun to dream up the possibilities.“Let’s make it a spaceship!” -a dimensional mailer from another dimension, if you will. While your client may be impressed with the unique concept, they will not be impressed by the price tag associated with creating and posting it. To sum up, dimensional mailers make a great component of any B2B marketing strategy. They are fun to create and offer the perfect opportunity to show the creative talents of your team. But in order to ensure that your dimensional mailer creates the desired demand generation, they should possess all the qualities listed above. Otherwise, it may not be worth the cost for your client.

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Alyssa Rimmer

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