How to run a killer B2B direct mail campaign using dimensional mailers

Dimensional mailer - rolled-up calendar mailed in a tube

(This is the third post in our Nuts & Bolts of a Marketing Campaign series)

In a previous post we discussed an example of a dimensional print product that we delivered by hand as part of our 12 Touch Campaign. But what about dimensional mail pieces such as boxes, tubes, or padded envelopes?

Dimensional mail is a great way for B2B marketers in small and medium-sized companies to start up a conversation with key prospects and keep sales momentum moving. But to succeed with dimensional mail, marketers have to learn to think and work in a new way.

Well-planned dimensional mail campaigns are more affordable than you may think. What’s better, they often deliver response rates and returns on investment that are far higher than those of conventional mail campaigns. This makes them a great choice for marketers who want to turn high-value prospects into big customers.

Because of its unusual shape, a dimensional mailer usually zips past the gatekeeper to the desk of your prospect, who is unlikely to discard it unopened. The mailer takes the form of a 3D piece, so your designer has a big canvas to lay out your offer, message and brand. Inside the mailer you have room to include letters, sales collateral and promo items. And by its size, design and thoughtfulness, the mailer itself sends a positive message to prospects. It says to them, “To me, you’re worth sending something special.”

So how do you run a dimensional mail campaign that pays off?

The key is to think quality over quantity. This means:

  1. Do whatever it takes to compile a small but super-qualified list
  2. Invest in a memorable campaign that delivers your message with impact
  3. Follow up tenaciously and immediately with your prospects

Note that the emphasis on a small list and a sophisticated custom mailer is the opposite of how conventional mail campaigns are run. This is the new marketing thinking I referred to above.

In conventional campaigns, marketers work to get the cost of mailers and postage as low as possible, and go for the largest distribution they can afford. They content themselves with very low response rates, hoping to make it up in volume. Dimensional mail programs require that the direct marketer focus on quality prospects, quality mailers, and quality follow up.

1. Your list
Because dimensional mail costs more to print and post than conventional mail does, you want to make doubly sure it gets in the hands of high-yield prospects. Small, internal lists are a great for this. In many cases, your list doesn’t have to have more than 100 names on it to bring you a great return—so long as it’s the right list.
Review your company’s database to identify your very top prospect companies. Then do online research and make as many phone calls as necessary to your target companies to make absolutely sure you’re mailing to the right people.
2. Designing your campaign
Good creative is worth it. Find a design partner who can help you come up with a memorable concept that strongly communicates your offer, along with first-class copy and graphic design. Talk to your designer about personalizing the printing on your mailers for added rapport. This is easy to do.
A great creative partner will help you decide whether to use a tube, a pre-cut box (for example, Mohawk’s MakeReady pre-converted substrate), or a custom box designed to underscore your message. A skilled designer also knows how to keep you within your budget, and will help you decide what to put inside your mailer to grab attention and reinforce your offer.
3. Follow up
Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. By phone, by email, by personal visit. You won’t succeed otherwise. The whole point of dimensional mailings is to intrigue your prospects with your brand, your offer, and your thoughtfulness, so they’re warmed up to talk to you further. Make sure this happens.
It’s good practice to send mail out in batches small enough that you can follow up on each and every piece. This should be whatever number your reps can handle, even as few as 10 or 20 a week. Digital print shops can accommodate batch mailings like this, even if you’ve designed a complex full-color, personalized mailer. Use their on-demand capability to your advantage to follow up effectively.

At Laser Image we can help you with any or all steps of your direct mail campaigns, including dimensional mail. Call on us for graphic design, full color printing, on demand production of staged mail programs, mail piece assembly, list preparation, addressing and bar coding, and delivery to the post office.