|Not Normal Marketing
July 2007: Are You Lumpy?
by Stephen Ghelerter
Ever receive an
envelope in the mail that was obviously junk mail, and, just as
you start to throw it in the trash, you feel a lump and realize it contains
something more than just sales literature. So you open it.
What do you mail
that can benefit from lumps? It could be an invoice or statement,
a sales letter or brochure, a quotation or proposal. A little
lumpiness may be the difference between being opened or trashed,
or the difference between being thrown in the "open when I
get around to it" pile, and being opened immediately.
Your lump can be
some small promotional item: A calendar, letter opener, pen,
bookmark, etc. The idea is to not only get them to open your
envelope and read what is inside, but to keep and use your lump
which hopefully would have your company imprint.
Know Your Lumps
There are two types
of lumps: big and little. The bigger the lump, the more attention
it is going to get. But the new postage rates can make big lumps
expensive. In the old days - prior to May 14, 2007 - you usually
had to pay for an additional ounce of postage for your lump. But
now, the postal world has changed dramatically.
Currently, a one
ounce letter is 41¢. Another ounce costs an additional 17¢,
making the postage 58¢. But if your lump makes the envelope more
than ¼" thick, then you advance from the "letter"
rate to the "flats" rate, making two ounces cost 97¢.
If your thick lump is heavy, and makes the stuffed envelope weigh
three ounces, your flat would cost $1.14, while a letter would be
It only gets worse.
If your envelope fails some other tests, like not being flexible
enough, or having too much variation in thickness, you move to the
even more expensive "parcel" rate.
The Not Too
There are many
promotional products that are thin, light and flexible, but will
give your envelope that lumpy feel. Some are refrigerator
magnets, calendars, Rolodex cards, bookmarks, coasters, jar
openers, and gift cards. And there are many, many more.
Before you purchase
one of these products, get the specs on it: the size - including
thickness - and weight, so you can see how it will impact your
postage cost. Some items are thin and light enough that they can
be inserted with statements and invoices with no additional
postage. If your envelope is not mailed, then you can include pens, and other
items that are thick and not flexible.
Keep in mind that
your lump has two jobs: to get the envelope opened, and to be
used as a promotional product. So get something that will be
used. When choosing, keep in mind the type of customers you have
and the time of year.
our Not Normal
Marketing Tips via E-mail