The next time it absolutely, positively, has to be read by the right people


Here is a few
ideas for you to
take a look at

Best, Thom

Gerald handed me a FedEx envelope.

“I thought you might be interested in this,” he said over lunch a couple of weeks ago.

Inside was an inexpensive, velo-bound capabilities booklet for a medium-sized firm that does business with companies like Jerry’s independent consultancy—or hopes to.

The booklet was at best, quick-copied at the local office store, and bound with a clear vinyl cover sheet. Might even have used their own office printer. Didn’t cost more than a dollar and a half in all.

But the FedEx envelope got opened in Jerry’s small, tight-knit office, known for tossing out anything from a vendor they don’t have a relationship with already. (They’re not big on change.)

The receptionist took one look inside at the note, hand-written on half-sized stationery, and placed the envelope at the top of Jerry’s mail.

Jerry’s meeting with Thom next week, although—did you guess it?—he’s never heard of him before.


Affordable direct-mail secrets your small biz can use today

1. Express mail packages will be opened, even in the most “closed” office. No gatekeeper wants to throw out essential information accidentally, and even if he or she doesn’t recognize the sender, everyone knows essential information comes in an overnight package.

2. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to impress. (Because the booklet wasn’t what did the impressing.) It won’t be winning any awards for its design. The booklet was cheaply made, and contrary to what you hear about taking tons of time and effort to customize for every prospective client, this one was aimed at the type of firm, but could have been sent to hundreds of firms without a change (and no doubt was).

3. There was no business card in the envelope. Sounds like a minor detail, and maybe Thom just forgot? No way. This was another brilliant part of the strategy. Every gatekeeper knows a business card in a mailer is a sign you don’t know the recipient. Not sending one is one more sign that it’s a solicited package from someone the boss knows. (On closer inspection, Thom’s contact info was printed in a discreet block inside the second sheet of the booklet.)

4. The note. Slipped under that clear vinyl cover sheet. Written on the type of stationery you might use to send a note within the office—nothing flashy. Twelve words in the body, quickly dashed off. Heck, the grammar’s not even perfect. Thom can write a hundred or more before lunch without getting a sore hand. But that’s not the biggest secret…

5. Thom, who knew no one in the office, found out that Gerald goes by Jerry. Correct spelling and all. Jerry can’t figure out how he did that. The entire package would still have gone into the trash were it not for that critical detail—it’s one of the ways the gatekeepers weed out (your) very most convincing mailers.

Simple, and nothing left to chance.

Simple genius.

I had to ask Jerry if I could write about it.

Hey! This strategy’s fatally flawed!

Well, now, I can hear you shouting: “Kelly, express mail isn’t cheap!”

True, true. We’re talking affordable, not cheap.

Darned affordable.

How many mailers do you need to send if every one will be opened and be seen by the exact person you needed to get your name in front of?

Would you rather send 200 postcards that end up in the trash or ten FedEx envelopes that make it to the corner office?

If I were Thom I’d be doing this monthly.

Of course, whether you have something great to say in that inexpensively-printed booklet, that’s between you and your marketing or copywriting team.

You’ve got the ear you wanted. So bend it with something terrific, and then pull up your calendar.

You just might need to set a few meetings.

Would it work on you?

Got any other fresh ideas guaranteed to get your attention? Let’s hear about them in the comments!


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson