The first and most important step in sales and marketing is getting the attention of your prospects; and one of the best inside sales techniques to get this done is Lumpy Mail. The purpose of Lumpy Mail is to stand out in the stack of otherwise ‘same old, same old’ direct mail. Lumpy Mail can get past the gatekeeper and get the attention of the decision maker. However, to gain maximum attention and then turn that attention into an appointment, Lumpy Mail needs to have a potent phone component.
The mission of the phone component in a Lumpy Mail program is to maximize the return on this marketing investment by generating appointments (a quantifiable return.) Creating mindshare is nice; growing existing mindshare is nice; but what you really need is an appointment.
Therefore, a Lumpy Mail campaign must have a precisely executed telephone campaign to maximize the impact of the Lumpy Mail on the target. To do this, we need a Best Practice for the pursuit of Lumpy Mail recipients.
Spoiler Alert – this Best Practice is NOT to drop the Lumpy Mail and then have your team chase them with a phone call or two. So stop what you’re doing if that’s how you’re approaching Lumpy Mail. The Best Practice uses phone calls, voicemails and even emails to maximize the impact on the decision maker and to improve the probability that an appointment will result.
The shorthand for the phone Best Practice is 3 calls, once a week, with follow up emails on the second and third calls. If the decision maker is not reached, a pair of calls will be made within 70 days.
There are two options for the first call in the Best Practice:
- Call shortly before the piece arrives. The premise is that similar to email, unexpected mail is less interesting than expected mail. The fact that it is lumpy will get the piece more attention, but the question is whether a phone call a day or so in advance would generate even more attention, perhaps even slight anticipation. Perhaps the call gets/keeps the piece on the targets desk, rather than suffering the email equivalent of ‘delete’ without examination. (For those that believe cold calling is dead, this practice proves that wrong.)
- Call shortly after the piece arrives. The premise is that the piece is sitting on the desk, or has been viewed, and you are letting your target know you wish to have a conversation about it. Given the uncertainty of when a piece arrives, timing is everything, so a timely call is paramount.
Our recommendation is number 1 – to call before the piece arrives. The primary reason is that targets will notice Lumpy Mail, but depending on how their day is going they may not explore the piece because history tells them there is nothing inherently valuable in it. They see it for what it is – the most noticeable mail in the pile. The second reason is that this Best Practice is unique to the target—and their gatekeeper—because most companies use the ‘after the drop’ approach and some of the calls occur weeks after delivery (and discard) of the Lumpy Mail has occurred.
The two calls after the first one are basically the same as traditional appointment setting Best Practice – a call to action if you get a target on the phone(“let’s set an appointment”) or building mindshare with the voicemail and email messaging if you do not.
Suggested timing and core messaging:
- Monday: Select the names for this week’s Lumpy Mail. For Contact Science users this list is created during the BackFill process. Marketing will take that list out of Contact Science and use it to create labels for the mailing.
- Wednesday: Drop the Lumpy Mail at the Post Office.
- Thursday: Make your first call to the target with your core message (gatekeeper, voicemail, email) being “look for our Lumpy Mail.”
- Next Wednesday or Thursday: Make your second call to the target with your core message (gatekeeper, voicemail, email) being “let’s chat about the Lumpy Mail.”
- The Following Week: Make your last call to the target with your core message (gatekeeper, voicemail, email) being “this may not be a good time; I will call again in a few months, but if you had been meaning to call me, please do.”
Three calls, well timed to coincide with Lumpy Mail delivery plus well crafted messaging (for gatekeepers, voicemails and emails) will result in 1) more attention to the Lumpy Mail, 2) more conversations with decision makers and 3) more quality appointments.
Obviously, timing is everything; and it is simpler than you might think to execute. Contact Science can help you design and implement the ideal pursuit plan for a Lumpy Mail campaign. When you are ready to implement proven sales acceleration techniques, give Contact Science a call.