Queen Victoria was sent a giant, 1000-pound wheel of cheddar cheese for her wedding. She was not amused.
“You shouldn’t have…” went the thank-you note. Oh, wait, that was probably the thought balloon over the head of the palace postman. Today, dimensional or “lumpy” mail is still a big deal in corporate advertising, although the weight-per-piece has been scaled back — by about 999 pounds.
And in the age of e-mail and tweets, lumpy mail has the Postmaster General dancing in the sorting bins.
You can pretty much count on a box or outsized envelope that lands on a CEO’s desk getting opened. Since these are busy people who don’t suffer interruption gladly, it can be valuable one-on-one time. With some cleverness and real relevance, a focused message and nifty gadget will likely stick around for a while (another point against sending cheese). Then the sales team – from the outfit with a familiar name – steps in to personally move them to the next step.
Marketing departments can ill afford to squander resources today, but a relatively small, tightly targeted list can allow pulling out the stops. Buyers of half-million-dollar equipment or large ingredient contracts are not stopping in their tracks for glow-in-the-dark paper clips. You hear a lot about response rates, but the truth is that for high-ticket products, a single sale can more than pay for the campaign. Even Victoria could find the joy in that.