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The Embarrassing Truth About Lumpy Mail (and Promotional Products)

So what exactly is lumpy mail? As the name suggests, it’s any type of mail that stands out from normal envelopes by being bulky or strangely shaped because it includes promotional products or giveaways as a marketing tactic. No doubt, you can remember receiving mail like this with an extra added “treasure” inside, just for you. This is the kind of mail that is difficult to ignore, and that’s just the point - it works to create that same a feeling of exuberance you had as a kid getting a birthday or Christmas gift in the post...what could be more exciting!

Obviously, the point behind any marketing campaign is to get your business noticed. Getting that attention is becoming ever more difficult with a cacophony of advertising messages bombarding your target market every day. Internet marketing is unquestionably one of of the most important aspects of marketing for most businesses, but it is limited - limited to what your target audiences search for and do, something they decide for themselves. Other types of marketing can also be filtered out - magazine and TV advertising, PR and even sales promotions. But not lumpy mail - it's excruciatingly difficult, in fact impossible to ignore...you just have to see what's inside that package don't you...it could be...well anything! And when it's a thoughtful, useful or funny gift it will enable you to stand out from the competition and get attention from the recipient. Hopefully, if the rest of your marketing is right, it will lead them along the path to becoming a customer.

Another benefit is memorability and this is confirmed by the research. Marketing your company's goods or services is all about being remembered at exactly the right time in the buying process. Many Internet marketers achieve this using longterm email campaigns, but this requires extensive commitment and valuable content which can be expensive to generate. Even if prospects and clients don’t contact you right away, they are more likely to remember you in the future when the need arises.  

Although it's rarely mentioned in marketing (except by the most savvy marketers) getting the recipient to actually participate in a ritual where they have to work to get at the "thing" brings a degree of interactivity and satisfaction in finding out just what's in there - another small commitment that connects them with your business.

Items that can be used for lumpy mail include any of the thousands of promotional products, including pens, keyrings, folders, notebooks, mugs and USBs and sticky notes.  You can get really creative and link your message to the item for impact.

So, I guess the embarrassing truth about lumpy mail is that it's been around for generations and has suffered unfair scorn in the process. Maybe it's time to dust off the techniques of the classic direct marketing geniuses - like Lester Wunderman and Robert Collier - and to use this incredibly effective and undervalued tactic as an easy, low cost method to get attention and to be memorable.