What You Ought to Know About Lumpy Mail Before You Send It

Last week, I wrote about lumpy mail. Greg said he’d sent out expensive gifts to some prospects, but used a format that only allowed for a short message. There was no room to explain what he did, or why the people getting the package should care. Nobody responded.

This is what probably happened:

Package received
Wow, this is great! Who sent it?
Greg?! Who’s Greg?
I don’t know any Greg. Why would he send me this?
Bet he spent a lot of money.
Hey, Joe, do you have that information on the Greenberg account I asked for?

Greg had a few seconds to connect, and he blew it. However, he knows better now.

Lumpy mail works, but just sending a package isn’t enough. The package, is essentially, the headline; it’s the introduction that invites people to find out more. Once the package is open, the rest of the contents (such as the sales letter or the brochure) have to make the case that your product or services are worth clicking on, calling about, and buying.

To quote David Ogilvy, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

Photo: alvinman

Does Product Placement Work?

Morning Joe (a morning news and talk show in the US) is now partnering with a fancy coffee company from Seattle. The brand is mentioned prominently before commercial breaks. The hosts hold large cups of coffee (with the logo) in their hands, and drink from them throughout the show. They even had the CEO come on and talk about how he noticed they drank his coffee and thought it would be a “good fit” and “leverage their brand equity” and a lot of other blather.

Does anyone outside of the TV show and the coffee company really care?

Will this blatant product placement sell more coffee? Does plastering banking logos or sportswear logos on a tennis player really drive anyone to switch banks? Has anyone bought a camera because the brand was on the front of a race car?

Or is it just annoying? I’m annoyed. Are you? Or do you not care one way or the other? Your thoughts?

Mykl Roventine

Can Your Marketing Pass This Test?

Go to your Web site. Print out your home page. Now, take a pen and cross out every mention of your company’s name, products, or services. After you’re finished, substitute the name of one of your competitors instead.

Now, reread the whole page. Does it still make sense?

If it does, your marketing isn’t as effective as it could be. Generic marketing isn’t effective (it’s broken). It won’t lead anyone to choose your product or service over your competitors’.

Saying that you offer “high quality” or “fast response” or “creative design” isn’t enough. You have to differentiate yourself in some way.


Blockbuster is failing, but there are video stores specializing in horror movies or Japanese anime that are thriving. Netflix succeeds by not only stocking movies that Blockbuster never heard of, but by emphasizing local favorites. They also create lists of movies they think you’ll like based on past picks and preferences (for me, they’re currently recommending cerebral TV shows, dark political movies based on real life, and suspenseful crime dramas).

A dry cleaner is a dry cleaner, but a green dry cleaner or one that picks up early in the morning and delivers late at night is different.

A trade show exhibit designer is generic, but one that produces exhibits that can be set up and broken down in 10 minutes is worth remembering (and talking about).

Go, test your site now. Let me know what you found.

Photo: ccarlstead

Introducing the Fix Your Broken Marketing blog

I’m Jodi Kaplan, and I fix broken marketing. I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years (yikes!). I’ve had many conversations with business owners who want to market their businesses, but are struggling to get it right. They want to know why their Web site doesn’t attract sales, or they spend money on marketing and get poor results. This blog is aimed at answering those questions, and providing tips, advice, and information that will show you what’s wrong, and how to fix it.