Friday, November 2, 2007

Tips to a Good Dimensional Mailing

I believe in the value of dimensional mailings. There are programs and situations in which a dimensional format can increase response and return on investment.

As with any mailing, it’s list, offer, and creative that will make the program successful. However, with a dimensional mailing, it's important to keep in mind that you will have much more invested in the mailings on a per piece basis. Here are some tips to make sure your dimensional mailing gets the response you need to make it a highly successful mailing.

Relevance is key.

A dimensional mailing needs to be relevant to the audience. The creative for the mailing should fit the audience and the message. If you include a premium, it should be tailored to fit your message. If you talk about helping a prospect “juggle” many responsibilities, then the premium might be a set of juggling balls. Send a beach towel if you’re offering ocean-front timeshares. Perhaps send half the premium or a hint of the premium in the initial mailing with the promise of fulfillment when the prospect meets with your salesperson.

Check your list – twice.
As with any mailing, the list is critical to the success of your dimensional mailing. If you’re sending a postcard, you may be okay with sending it to the wrong contact in the hopes that will be passed on to the appropriate person. With the high cost of a dimensional mailing, you want to be sure you have the right contact. It’s worth an upfront phone call to clean and update your list before mailing. An added touch is to let the person know that you will soon be sending them an oversized package.

Write a great letter.
Your unique packaging will get you in the door, but your letter must still make the sell. You can incorporate clever puns or play with words to tie the letter to the theme of the package. Just be sure that you also clearly get your primary messages and offer across to readers. Make your letters so persuasive that your prospect picks up the phone and calls you.

Make a good offer.
Remember that the goal of the mailing is to get a foot in the door. You want to create interest and make a strong case for you company so that the prospect will take your call and agree to meet with you. Offer the prospect something for meeting with you. It could be a special rate, discount, or additional premium that relates to the upfront premium included in your dimensional package.

Maintain your company or brand image.
While a dimensional mailing is an opportunity to be more creative and stretch the branding guidelines, you still want customers and prospects to recognize that it came from your company. Use your company logos, colors, and overall design elements to tie the dimensional package in with your other direct marketing materials.

Consider a mailing series.
Sending a series of two or three dimensional mailings can be even more successful than a single dimensional. You can send items in each mailing or promise to deliver a premium at an in-person meeting. Keep the message and design similar throughout the mailings to create a consistent theme.

Call to follow-up!
Another way to increase the response rate of a dimensional mailing is to call recipients and follow-up. It is a great conversation starter. You open the call with, “Did you get the blue tube…?” or “Have you received the bright yellow box I sent you…?”

Dimensionals offer a fantastic opportunity for fun, adventurous creative, as long as it makes sense for your product or service and your audience. Make sure it’s something the audience will value. If the dimensional mailing is a let-down, the disappointment will overshadow the benefit of your offer.