The Power of Dimensional Mail in Small Business Marketing

By: Dan Kennedy on: August 6th, 2009 10 Comments

But why does dimensional mail work? Why does it increase response?

Well I’m convinced that the simple reason is because it adds a bit of intrigue to the mailing, which allows it to overcome the toughest task in small business marketing…getting your mail piece opened….getting your mail piece opened FIRST….and getting your mail piece read!

Piece by Bob Devol of Bob Devol Communications

I’m also convinced that the importance of using dimensional mail is rising due to the increased competition in the mailbox. Direct mail has to work harder than ever to stand out – and dimensional mail can help.

Create “Reason Why” Copy

One recommendation that I have is to explain to the recipient why you are using the dimensional item you have chosen, so they do not feel duped.

Obviously, in the case of the J. Squirrel letter, the inclusion of a bag of peanuts is obvious and certainly supports the headline on the letter….“Are you Nuts?”

Here are some other examples:

  • A packet of aspirin with the claim that your offer will fix their headache.
  • A padded band-aid making the point that this is the way the competition fixes the problem….but your solution is permanent.
  • A compass that relays the message that we are still looking for you.
  • A wooden ‘Round Tuit’ that tells the prospect that since he hasn’t gotten around to it as of yet…now he no longer has that excuse.
  • A ‘thick’ shoelace enclosed with a fundraiser appeal for a non-profit organization that’s operating on a shoestring budget.
  • A neon-colored squeezable smiley face ball with a message that “I’ve sent you this because you’ll be smiling BIG after you read my letter.
  • A miniature racecar that enforces to prospects that they are in easy driving distance to get to your seminar.
  • A one-ounce packet of red hot cinnamon-flavored candies that provides an intriguing introduction for a letter about a red-hot offer.
  • A bank bag envelope that makes the case that since what you are talking about concerns making money, then what better way for you to deliver your message.

Well, hopefully you get the idea. The goal is to create a story line that ties the dimensional device to the mailing message so your reader doesn’t feel manipulated or cheated. On the contrary, they actually feel entertained.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. admin Brian says:

    Thanks, this is excellent!

    Finally realizing that my business can use these types of mailings.

  2. Matt Gray says:

    Great information and what we preach on a daily basis! As a GKIC member, I continue to appreciate all the fantastic marketing insights!

  3. Excellent reminder to small businesses! And there are so many ways to create a dimensional mail piece too. It need not be limited to the “classic” boxed items, as you’ve illustrated above; your mailer could be “lumpy mail” such as a squishy envelope with an intriguing item inside, or any oddly-dimensioned device. Even a die-cut flat that gets attention is an affordable option.

    Also, if your customer base is local, you could make an elaborate package to deliver by hand, addressed to your target individual, but left with the front desk.

    Design/print/mail is such a great, high impact way to get in the front door and make a lasting impression. Just don’t forget to follow up and to live up to your prospect’s heightened expectations of you!

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    A few years ago… I put on the the outside of the envelope “Did you see my fish?”
    and on the inside of the mail piece I glued a small candy swedish fish to the top of my letter.

    When I did a follow to that letter – to the same mailing list… I put ” My little fishy escaped again… if you find him, could you return him” – and I put yet another swedish fish inside.

    Although I didn’t have anybody actually return the fish (they most likely ate them) – I did get some really great sales out of those marketing pieces.

  5. Thanks for reminding us all, Dan.

    Biggest objection I consistently get to this advice is the increased cost of the mailing.

    Simple response: It’s all about ROI, and your greatly increased results will more than make up for the slightly increased costs.

    If your budget requires, test your lumpy mailing with a small run. Then you can use re-invest some of the dollars that come in to do the rest of your mailing.

    Just DO IT!

  6. Rob Anspach says:

    …just remember the post office doesn’t like oddball pieces because they have manually process them- your costs to mail these pieces will most likely cost more!

  7. Donna Kopf says:

    I really like the band aid idea and the ‘Round Tuit idea!
    I think anytime, anyone gets an envelope or box in the mail with a funky shape inside- it’s guaranteed to be opened first!

  8. Interesting post and I couldn’t agree more on some of the issues raised

  9. […] more on the value of “lumpy mail” in small business marketing from direct expert, Dan […]

  10. Abair says:

    Let me you should definitely save your website and may even go back sooner or later.

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