How To Develop a “Bulky Package” Promotion That Works!


Bulky Package

Bulky-package promotions are 3 dimensional materials that are delivered to an intended target to get a meeting with them. While many direct mail materials end up in the trash, sending a bulky-package eliminates this hazard. We’ve never had one that was not at least opened and viewed.

The largest one we did was send a folding chair via a courier with our promotional brochure glued to the seat back. The return label was generic to avoid tipping them off that it was promotional in nature. The message delivered was our intention to get a face to face with them, and to facilitate this we are providing our own chair. In each delivery the follow-up call was taken because they were curious about the originator of their package, and in most cases we got an audience with them.

In another case, we were approaching commissioned sales people in a specific industry. Since their motivation is money, we printed up American ten dollar bills in a long line and rolled them up to look like an actual roll of cash. This was then placed in a fancy box and sent out. The outcome was successful in getting the desired number of high caliber sales representation.

One of the best examples of bulky-packaging was done by a financial services CEO.

Their target was the CEO’s of large corporations. What they did was place a cell phone in a box. When the courier arrives at the destination, they call in. The Financial CEO would then place a call to the cell phone (in the box). Once the cell began to ring, the courier would complete the delivery.

As the story goes, every intended CEO actually opened the box and answered the phone. From this point, they had one CEO talking to the other CEO. From what I understand, this tactic was directly responsible for an enormous amount of new business being written.

Bulky-packaging is a great tactic if your target market is relatively focused. It can have a big impact if handled creatively.

10 steps to follow to develop your own bulky-package promotion are:

1. Determine who is the best prospect for this technique? Who are you willing to spend several dollars on, just to get an audience with them?

2. Determine an acceptable budget to facilitate the effort.

3. What are you trying to sell to them?

4. What is the goal in doing this type of promotion, what is your expected ROI?

5. Once that determination is made, develop a message to present to the target customer.

6. Next, figure out what goes in the bulky-package? It must be relevant to the message. This is where creativity is key, go wild!

7. How is the bulky-package to be packaged and delivered? In one case we had the delivery person outfitted in the promotion’s color (black), which matched the bulky-package for consistency.

8. Develop a strategy for following up on the deliveries.

9. Pace the deliveries to reflect how many meetings you can handle in a given period?

10. Prepare materials to leave behind after the initial meeting.

In your arsenal of marketing strategies, bulky-packaging, while more costly – has a genuine ability to deliver a targeted message to an individual, getting past the gatekeeper. Our folding chair for instance was essentially a large box – awfully hard for the secretary to toss out with the rest of the junk mail. Bulky-packaging plays on people’s natural curiosity. Think about it. You HAVE thrown out an unsolicited envelope, but would you throw away an unsolicited package? Marketing’s job it to get the target customer to review the message presented. Then it is up to sales to close.

Have fun with your bulky-package promotion. If you’re planning on sending out an iPhone, put me on the list. I’ll even take your call.


  1. Great Article. I’ll take that call on the iPhone as well. What an innovative idea.