July 5, 2015

What is Dimensional Mail?

When people think of the term “mail,” they most often associate it with a letter, a postcard or some other rectilinear form of communication that gets delivered to their home each day. But there are many different forms of mail, and one whose use is becoming increasingly popular among businesses around the world is Dimensional Mail. Dimensional mail, unlike its flat letter-type counterpart, can assume the shape of a tube, a box, or other 3-dimensional form.

Why it works

Statistics show that dimensional mail is 20 times more powerful than flat mail and can even increase demand by as much as 75%.

The reason for this superb peformance is deeply rooted in human behavior.

Most of the time, when we receive flat mail — whether it be bills, applications, or fliers  — we do not even open it to see what it is.  However, when we find a box sitting on our doorstep, we immediately develop a feeling of curiosity, mainly because we are eager to find out what the box contains. Did someone send me a gift? Did I place an order for something that finally arrived? These are some of the questions that drive consumers to eagerly approach dimensional mail.

Making Dimensional Mail work for your business

From a B2C standpoint, dimensional mail is pricey. It can work for a big CPG firm like Gillette, which has the budget to mail out actual razor samples to thousands of consumers, allowing potential buyers to get an exact idea of what the company is offering. This approach is effective, but expensive. Incremental costs related to custom design, packaging, printing, and mailing quickly mount up when sending thousands of custom pieces to a broad audience.

Only in cases where dimensional mail is used efficiently will it generate a substantial profit for the business. Fortunately, firms following a B2B model can use dimensional mail profitably because the target audience for B2Bs is typically small, perhaps only 100 highly targeted individuals.

Four tips for creating your first campaign

Dimensional mail isn’t just about delivering a box to the prospect’s doorstep. Sending a prospect a package is only useful if your recipient actually opens it. The key element making diemensional mail effective is its ability to cause an action on the part of your recipient — for example, visiting your company’s website, calling to speak with a representative, visiting a physical location, perhaps even taking a selfie — to join your marketing loop. The creative marketing possibilities are endless.

Here are four tips for running effective dimensional mail campaigns:

1. Verify Your Prospect List

It’s crucial that you review your database of prospects in order to make sure that the list contains only those most qualified, or “likely,” to take a desired action once the package is received. If your list is small enough, you might be able to have an intern simply verify that person X is still at address Y.

2. Make it Memorable

Dimensional mail can only be effective if the creative and offer are both superb. What you are shipping must not only be exciting and clever, but always show how you are going to provide for the needs of your prospects. Make sure that your campaign is in line with your company’s overall marketing messaging.

Begin by asking yourself the question: “Will this product interest the person who receives it?” If you think it will, you can then focus on answering the question of whether or not it will drive them to take the action you desire (such as making a phone call or sending an e-mail). The primary message is the key, and if you fail to establish a connection between that and the item that you are shipping, your campaign will fail.

3. Evaluate delivery options

It’s important to remember that mailing is not the only option. If you are dealing with only a small number of prospects, making the drop-off in person can be cut costs (assuming your prospects are within a reasonable driving distance.) UPS and Fedex might be price competitive as well.

4. Follow-Up

Communication is essential in the execution of any campaign. The object of dimensional mail is to deliver something to your prospects that you believe will be beneficial to them. With that being said, after the item is shipped, it is a good practice to follow-up with a phone call 5-8 days afterwards to verify that the individual (or business) received your package. And let’s not forget that, given the naturally higher response rate of dimensional mail,your prospects will be that much more receptive to you should your campaign prove to be successful.


Dimensional mail is a a relatively new direct mail marketing tactic, but smart marketers running lean, hypertargeted campaigns can reap positive ROI. Dimensional mail gets opened more often, makes a stronger impression, and drives more action action than traditional flat mail. We hope the tips in this article help you use it to your company’s advantage.