Lumpy Mail Gets Noticed

My friend Alex Maynard is a realtor in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In addition to being my friend, Alex is also my realtor and every once in a while, he sends me something in the mail to remind me of him should I or anyone else in my life need a realtor. As a student of marketing, I can’t help myself evaluating any promotional mailing that arrives to my house, but Alex’s mailings stand out. They’re consistently clever which is no surprise because he’s a master marketer.

Shortly before Christmas 2020, I came home from work and I fetched the mail. Included in that day’s mail was a small, white metallic padded envelope. I could feel something was inside. The envelope had no return address. Of course, I was curious so naturally I opened that envelope first (wouldn’t you?). What I found was Alex’s most recent mailing.

The envelope contained a round ornament along with his business card inserted into a clear plastic bag. The ornament was themed “A Year to Forget” and it was printed on one side with icons and phrases that we all used during 2020 like “social distancing”, “binge watching” and “curbside pickup”. The other side was printed with the logo of the real estate team he worked with.

Alex Maynard’s padded envelope, ornament and business card

Here’s why Alex’s mailing was so effective: first, he used lumpy mail which almost always gets opened. The bubble envelope was eye catching and stood out among the other mail I received that day. Second, he enclosed a promotional product featuring relevant ad copy that wasn’t about him. The ad copy was relevant to me, his client. Also, according to a survey completed by Promotional Products Association International, 81% of people hang onto promotional products for more than a year because they find them fun, functional or trendy. Basically, people hold onto to promotional products unlike any other marketing mediums. Next, the unique nature of promotional products is that they last a long time. Since I have a connection with Alex, I plan to keep the ornament and I’ll be reminded of him every time I hang that ornament on my tree. When you mail promotional products to people who know you, the chances of them keeping and using the item are very high. Next, Alex took full advantage of the cost-effective nature of promotional products. Once you buy and distribute a promotional product, the item delivers its marketing message long after they’re paid for. Lastly, Alex combined two marketing mediums: direct mail and promotional products. Whenever multiple marketing mediums are used in conjunction with each other, the greater the impact.