Agency Hangout – Direct Mail with Oli Luke

by | May 28, 2020

Oli Luke explains how Scribble Mail, a direct mail specialist, uses outrageous stunts and sends unexpected mail to grab the attention of prospective clients.

Oli Luke spends his working day operating three different businesses;

  • The first, a consultancy-based company, who coach and mentor clients through building unique and outrageous direct mail campaigns.
  • The second, is the UK’s largest handwritten mailing house, enabling clients to get the maximum performance from their budget.
  • And finally, a full-service niche agency in the US looking after audiologists.

Oli explains how he attracts the attention of, and converts, ‘big fish’ clients into working with his company Scribble Mail. He suggests that ‘they aim to get the most amount of responses’ and found that people ‘rarely ignore a handwritten letter or package.’

He discusses how primarily Scribble Mail aim for companies with big budgets and who would benefit most from a new method of contacting customers.

‘We initially started by sending out letters to the companies we wished to target, asking them to ‘call, call, call us, but we weren’t getting many calls.’ So, then we decided to change our tactics, and consider a method that was extremely difficult for us, but very easy for a prospective client to reach out to us: we decided to send them a phone.’

‘The Illegal Phone Box Method, our trojan horse campaign, is what we came up with the get the attention of any client.’ Oli describes the details of the method. ‘We send out a box to the prospective client with a letter and a phone inside and ask them to call us. Their phone only has one number saved in it, whilst we have saved all of the numbers corresponding to all of the phones we have sent out, so if they call, we know who is calling.’

He talks about the challenges they faced, ‘the first time I tried ordering a lot of sim cards, I realised it wasn’t as easy as I first thought it would be, simply because most people who order multiple SIM cards are committing an illegal act.’

Each box for the phone campaign costs just over £18 to produce and arrange. With around 1 in 8 boxes converting to a meeting, and then 1 in every 5 of the meetings converting to a deal worth over £30,000.

Other tactics Oli has used to help coach clients, include the Live Hamster Inside mail out; a letter in a box pierced with air holes, and labelled as ‘FRAGILE, Live hamster inside’. Another strategy: Sweet Box, he sends a clear box full of retro sweets, but the box has a combination padlock on it, the code is given over when a meeting is arranged. He describes that this stunt costs around £60-70 a box to send.

Oli explains that ‘not many people receive physical mail these days, it grabs the attention of the recipient’. He suggests it plays on the same ‘nostalgia as when your nan sends you a birthday card’.

‘One thing I hate about going into those sales meetings, is going in and having to sell.’ He wanted to work out how he could pre-sell and pre-frame what his company do, prior to the meeting. So, they created the client conversion kit’.

‘In the time between the call, and the meeting taking place, they send a box with hand-written calligraphy on the front, and a set of resources and documents inside, from FAQs, to what to expect in your first 30 days, and why you should work with them’. So that ‘by the time they get to a meeting, the selling is already done.’