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Four Reasons to Revive the Bulky Direct Mail Piece

November 16, 2010  

"Just a few years ago, I could count on receiving a mailbox-full of direct mail nearly every day, including the crown jewel of direct marketing, the BIG direct mail piece," writes Dean Rieck at Direct Creative. "Thick #10's, fat 6×9's, and beefy 9×12's once stood atop the mountain of attention-grabbing communication."

Although the recession and a shift to online marketing channels made direct mail seem expensive and outdated, it hasn't gone away—for one simple reason: "What people are discovering is that traditional media, including direct mail, still work. That includes the big direct mail piece," according to Rieck.

Here are a few of his reasons why big direct mail pieces might be just what you need:

  • They face little competition in a recipient's mailbox. "A mail stream full of dinky formats makes larger formats stand out," he notes.
  • They provide extra space for marketing copy. "[This is] the driver in any direct mail campaign."
  • They encourage recipients to focus on your message. People will give a bulky direct mail piece more consideration than the second or two they spend on an email's subject line.
  • They give your company an innovative image. "[T]hose big packages seem novel now," he says. "They let you zig while everyone else zags."

The Po!nt: This might be the time to test a large direct mail piece—an old media stalwart might just deliver new media results.

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  • by EniCopy Tue Nov 16, 2010 via web

    "They provide extra space for marketing copy. "[This is] the driver in any direct mail campaign."
    Can you focus more on this topic? I have argued for this point many times with little to back me up. Brevity and giving customers a quick read is not the only good strategy out there - depending on the medium and audience, of course. Tell us when to write more, and perhaps back it up with statistics. I'm sure many copywriters would welcome this to balance those who continue arguing for clean, copy-free layouts no matter what!!

  • by Giovanni Tue Nov 16, 2010 via web

    These are great points. More space for info and more focus from the recipient. Plus, with the new USPS “Intelligent Mail Barcode”, advertisers can measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their mailings http://ow.ly/37wMM

  • by Heather Tue Nov 16, 2010 via web

    I have to comment that I just emailed a vendor and asked them to STOP sending these stupid, junky, gimmicky bulk mail pieces (they sent the enhanced version- a box with a foam dice piece in it and some asinine message about why I shouldn’t “roll the dice” on a competitor’s product or something like that). I was annoyed that in this day and age of diminishing global resources and increasing amounts of crap that someone thought it was environmentally acceptable to send that junk out. The waste just struck me as brazen and out-of-touch, two things that make me run in the opposite direction in any relationship. So, no, I don’t agree with this tip. Usually you guys are right on. Please don’t continue to encourage people to do things that will be a menace to our environment and may very well backfire on them, at considerable expense.
    Thanks

  • by Michael Wed Mar 2, 2011 via web

    Direct mail is also a great way to drive people to a web site. Attach a QR code or even just a standard web address to a good mailer and you don't need to use a "big package"
    http://www.tri-win.com/blog/technology-has-freed-the-barcode/

  • by Fabiola Tue Nov 22, 2011 via web

    Good article, although in this environmentally conscious world I would have added a little tidbit about some of the misconceptions regarding waste. I just learned this from PIASC's "Choose Print" campaign: "Most paper now comes from sustainable forests. These forests are essentially “tree farms,” where trees are grown as a crop,..." I totally agree that direct mail is still a powerful marketing tool.

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