Direct Mail Response Rates Soar With Dimensional Mailers in Business-to-Business Lead Generation

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The toughest job you face as a B2B direct marketer is reaching your prospect with your message. Reaching C-level executives is particularly difficult because they employ mailroom staff and executive secretaries who screen their mail, or your mail, depending on how you look at it. So unless your direct mail lead generation letter or postcard or self-mailer stands out from the rest, it won't reach the desk of your potential client.

That's why dimensional mailers are one of the most effective ways to reach elusive prospects with your sales message. A dimensional mailer is simply one that has more than two dimensions. Unlike a letter, postcard or self-mailer, it has three dimensions. Dimensional mailers are usually boxes, but they can also be sturdy envelopes that have something three-dimensional inside. These kinds of packages are also known as "lumpy mail."

Dimensional mail is effective because it stands out. It gets attention because it doesn't look like everything else that the executive is receiving that day. Dimensional mail is also effective because it always gets opened. I am confident in predicting that no one who receives a box 36 inches long, 9 inches wide and 5 inches deep, bearing the prospect's name and job title on the top and an intriguing headline, is going to pitch the box in the trash unopened. Innate human curiosity is too powerful for that.


  • Use a standard size of box if possible to save on printing costs (talk to a printer)
  • Put something in the box that is valuable, or fun, or both
  • Make sure what's in the box ties in with what you are selling
  • Make your sales message inside the box easy to find and easy to understand
  • Remember that the goal of a dimensional mailer is not to close a sale but to generate a lead, so keep your message focussed on achieving that goal and nothing else

      • Gets noticed amidst all the other mail your prospect receives
      • Almost guaranteed to get opened
      • Likely to get opened first
      • Great at stimulating buzz at a company
      • Likely to make it past the executive gatekeeper

          • More costly to design, print and mail than other direct mail formats
          • Might be mistaken at the target company fora bomb or a prank
          • Expensive to produce if you need a custom-made box
          • Box can get damaged along with your brand reputation if delivered by mail
          • May be perceived as a bribe for a sales appointment if the item in the box is particularly valuable
              Continental Resources generated a 30% response rate by mailing a remote-control dinosaur to technology executives (without the remote control). Prospects got the remote control and batteries when they booked an appointment with a Continental sales rep. To see the mailer, click here.

              ABOUT THE AUTHOR
              Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers generate leads, close sales and retain customers using business-to-business direct mail lead generation. Learn more about his creative direct mail writing services (including dimensional mailers) and sign up for free weekly tips like this at

              ? 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message).

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