Breaking Through with 3D Mail (Part 3): Creating Suspense and Anticipation


Breaking Through with 3D Mail

Welcome to the third and final installment in this series on breaking through with 3D direct mail. The first two posts covered micro-focusing your direct mail program and getting and staying in front of your target audience. Essentially, how 3D direct mail can help you break out of the bulk-mail approach to direct mail and make a strong impact on a small but important group of targets.

This final installment will take the planning and the impact of your mailing a step further. The goal of a micro-focused direct mail program is to create a positive memory for you and your company’s brand, thus making a strong impact on your target. This is done by being unique, and you can be unique by selecting an item that is personal, valuable, rare or cool. But there is one more tactic that can really drive the awareness of your company, in fact it will be almost impossible to ignore you. That tactic is the building of suspense and anticipation.

The goal is to create a moment when your target is waiting for your next mailing. You want them to look in their pile of mail each day with the hope of seeing your logo on a package. So, how do we do that?

Here are 9 tips for creating suspense and anticipation.

  1. Select an item that will appeal to your target. Remember, be unique.
  2. Make it a multipart mailing. By dividing up the mailing you are creating an opportunity for repetitive reinforcement of your company’s brand, your messaging, a feeling of satisfaction and additional anticipation.
  3. This is not a hostage situation! Remember, the goal is not to set a meeting; the goal is to create a positive memory.  The meetings will come later, but by holding your item or a piece of the item over your target’s head with the hope of strong-arming them into a meeting, you risk creating the wrong kind of memory.
  4. Look professional. Be sure that your package looks trustworthy and safe. This means your return information is clearly marked on the package. Your package should not, in any way, look suspicious.
  5. Use a professional delivery service like UPS or FedEx. This will help with the appearance of your package. More importantly, think about what happens when you receive a package from FedEx. Do you get a call or an email? Is the package brought up to your office? There is a very good chance that your package will not be delivered with all of the other mail; your package will be considered special… priority.
  6. Place your logo on each package. It’s important that with each mailing your target notices your logo and right away knows what has arrived. Even if you are using a professional delivery service, make sure your logo is front and center.
  7. Timing is everything. Will there be an opportunity to meet with your target? Look to time your mailing so that you can leverage your new found recognition. If you have an industry trade show that you are confident your target will be attending, time the mailing to be completed 6 weeks prior. This will ensure that you are still fresh in their mind without seeming like your plan has been to corner them at a trade show.
  8. Be clever with your messaging. Place your logo or key messaging on your giveaway item. Additionally, a handwritten letter goes a long way these days.
  9. There are some excellent vendors that can help you achieve almost anything. In other words, just because the company you choose to purchase your item from doesn’t offer engraving, doesn’t mean the item cannot be engraved.

Pulling It All Together

So how does this look when it’s all pulled together? In a mailing to influence 20 upper level executives, I would look for an item that the executives would find unique and would reinforce their own aspirational image of themselves. For this example, I’ve chosen a marble chess set. Each mailing will be one week apart and will come in a professional looking package via FedEx.

  • The first mailing will have the marble chessboard that has been engraved with my company’s logo, the key message on one side of the board and the name of my target on the other. Having their name engraved on the item makes it personal and greatly reduces the odds that they will give it away. Also included in this mailing will be the first eight chess pieces and a handwritten note with an introduction of my company, my company’s USP and an expectation of the mailings that are to follow.
  • The second mailing will have an additional 16 chess pieces. This will also have a handwritten note reiterating my company’s USP and an expectation of the next mailing.
  • The third mailing will have the final eight chess pieces and will come with a note that lets the target know that “wait…it’s not over yet, there is one more surprise on the way.”
  • The fourth and final mailing will have a handwritten note and a chess clock with my company’s logo and a strong brand promise.

The great part of a campaign like this is that in addition to creating a positive memory for you and your company, you will have created buzz within that organization. Three weeks later when you call to set up a time to meet at the upcoming trade show, you won’t have to reintroduce your company’s benefits… they already know. Talk about chess.

About the Author

Chris Templeton
Account Manager

With me, it’s all about knowledge--knowing what makes target audiences tick--to foster stronger messaging and connections.

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