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Responsible Marketing

Lumpy mail. Love it or hate it?

By July 19, 2011July 23rd, 20204 Comments

You’ve received them before—an unsolicited package that has something in that you just have to open. Because of it’s lumpy nature, this form of direct marketing is called “lumpy mail.” Sometimes there’s something interesting but usually it’s just trash and trinkets. Still, it grabbed your attention and you opened the package, right?

Response rates for lumpy mail are often significantly better than those for other forms of direct mail, offsetting additional costs.

But what’s the perception of the recipient? Here’s recent Outsource Marketing intern Jillian Raney‘s take:

Yesterday was a learning experience for me at the office. I was introduced to “lumpy mail.” Gathering the mail, I discovered a white “lumpy” package addressed to us. Exciting right?! Unfortunately, I learned that not only was there nothing exciting about what was actually in the package, it was an incredibly irresponsible way to do direct marketing.

What I took away from this was the waste from the packaging, only to send us a cheap pen that butchered our brand. Perhaps if they gave us an option to opt out, and maybe used recycled materials, we would have been more excited to see this particular piece of mail. I consider “lumpy mail” irresponsible marketing.

With its extra packaging and typical throwaway inserts, lumpy mail is clearly more wasteful.

So what do you think of direct mail that works better but wastes more? Do you love it or hate it?

Comment below to weigh in.


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Eric Anderson says:

    I choose not to judge.

  • Yafang says:

    It’s marketers’ job to grab people’s attention, and it’s not hard to do something silly eye-catching stuff, but how would you maintain the effect and make something valuable for your customers? otherwise it would only make bad impression of your product/ service..

  • marketsmith says:

    It depends on the market, doesn’t it- obviously something like that won’t win the business of an eco-conscious consumer, but depending on what’s inside it could catch the eye of the right recipient.  However, clever campaigns are usually more effective than bombarding consumers with mail either way- check out this great e-mail one from Urban Outfitters:

  • Ian Brodie says:

    In this case, the problem wasn’t that the mail was lumpy, it’s that it disappointed – it was a cheap pen. The best lumpy mail gives the recipient something that delights them, that they want to keep (so it’s a constant reminder of the person who sent it).


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