Put the Power of the Shock and Awe Package to Work in Your Marketing!

[NOTE: Check out my video version of this article with more examples and details at https://mikecapuzzi.com/tv/shock-and-awe-package]

When you are in a class of one, there is only one choice for a particular product or service… YOU and YOUR BUSINESS!

To reach this enviable position requires focused work and smart marketing.  It also requires you to do a lot of little things right and in this article, I’m focusing on a “little thing” EVERYBODY reading this can use in their business to rise above the competition and thrive.

But before I share this special technique, I want you to know it doesn’t matter if you run a local pizza shop, own an online business or are the Chief Marketing Officer of a Fortune 500 company, this strategy works!  I’ve used it for my clients and my own business and still do today.

It’s the attention-grabbing, positioning power of the shock & awe package!

If you’ve never heard of the term “shock and awe package”, it’s credited to Dan Kennedy who has been a proponent of instructing business owners to create an impressive package of stuff that is sent to people who want more information about your product or service.

Whereas most business owners do as little (and cheaply) as possible when somebody requests information from them, shock and awe marketing takes it to a higher level.

The concept behind a shock and awe package is to create a benefit-laden package or kit that is so unique-looking and full of useful content the recipient has no other choice but to notice it and (if done right) engage with it.

Personally, I’ve used shock and awe packages for my own businesses and for those of private clients and while Dan Kennedy is a proponent of creating lavish, often expensive packages, I’ve been able to get great results without spending lots of money.

There are two obvious ways you can use a shock and awe package in your business.  You can create one that is designed to be sent when a person requests information about your product or service or you can create a kit that is sent when a person becomes a new customer/client/patient.

Let me offer some insight on each…

Shock and Awe Packages for Lead Generation

Hopefully everybody reading this is a student of direct-response marketing and the principle of getting people to raise their hand and give you permission to market to them.

For years, business owners have offered all types of “carrots” to get people to respond to their advertising and marketing.  Often times what they send in response is weak and unimpressive.

Instead, consider how you can create an information kit that is unlike any other.  One of the first things I would suggest is to give it a cool name and use this name in your marketing.

This is what I did for an information technology client several years ago during a lead generation marketing campaign I created for them.

We sent a multi-step direct mail campaign offering them the opportunity to receive a free “Disaster Prevention Kit” (whose picture we featured prominently throughout the campaign).  The kit (as you can see below) was sent in a Priority Mail box and it contained a custom-branded attaché case full of client-focused information to help them choose my client as the premier choice in information disaster recovery.

This particular kit included, among other things, a testimonial book, a guarantee certificate and a special response offer to try out the system.  It also contained a sealed bubble envelope that was only to be opened in case they felt disaster recovery was not a critical issue.  Inside it there was another letter and a flashlight and deck of cards (to be used “when the power goes out”).  All told the entire kit cost less than $30.00.

Over the course of the campaign, we sent out over 100 kits that resulted in a number of new clients for my client.  The kit was a huge success!

shock and awe package

NOTE: Simply sending a shock and awe package doesn’t guarantee a sale or success.  It’s just part of an customer-oriented marketing process.  Effective follow-up is key!

Shock and Awe Packages for New Customers

Another opportunity to employ a shock and awe package is when a new customer/client/patient comes on board.   Again, this is a great opportunity to delight and surprise folks and uniquely position your business.

In this case, the package can be a part of your product or service where a person expects it (just make sure to include some unexpected bonuses and fun gifts) or as a surprise package they had no idea was coming (could be as simple as a box of homemade cookies and a handwritten thank you note).

Today I use a shock and awe package as a welcome kit, which I send to new CopyDoodles®members.  The kits are customized to the specific level they join at and include all sorts of expected and unexpected goodies to enhance their CopyDoodles membership.

copydoodles new member kit

While I could have easily sent a digital welcome kit via email, I wanted to send all new members a package in the mail so they had something physical from me.  I guarantee there are not many online membership sites that send stuff in the mail to welcome new members and for us it’s all about differentiation and positioning.

Remember what I said back in the beginning of this article… effective marketing is about doing a lot of little things right (and constantly keeping your prospect or customer’s needs in mind).

Seven Tips for Creating a Super Effective Shock & Awe Package

  1. Give it an engaging and unique name!
  2. Package it in a fun way!
  3. Give them directions of how to go through it
  4. Include multimedia, reports, books, audio CDs, DVDs, testimonial books, photos, etc.!
  5. Include a special offer!
  6. Include ways to respond!
  7. Most importantly – have fun with this!

Remember, your goal is to stand out and position your product or service in a class of one!

[NOTE: Check out my video version of this article with more examples and details at https://mikecapuzzi.com/tv/shock-and-awe-package]


In the October 2012 SMART Ideas (my print newsletter), I go into more depth about this type of marketing campaign and include additional examples and a shock and awe checklist for subscribers to use to build their own shock and awe packages.  If you’re not yet a subscriber, visit http://smartideas.mikecapuzzi.com and check it out a trial PRINT and DIGITAL issue for only $9.95! And if you decide to remain a subscriber each issue is less than $30/month and every issue has downloadable templates, copy examples and more to implement in your business.

smart ideas


About Mike Capuzzi

I'm a speaker, author and high impact marketing strategist for business owners and sharp, aggressive entrepreneurs looking to get to the next level in their business. I'm also the the inventor of the world-famous CopyDoodles. CopyDoodles are the world's largest library of handwritten fonts, hand-drawn doodles, comics and more designed to grab attention and boost your marketing results!


  1. Barry Nicholson on September 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Great article, Mike 🙂 There’s a lot of talk about S&A boxes in the marketing world, but what actually is supposed to go inside is a little less clear. I like to think of a Shock and Awe box as a “sales letter exploded” (or if you’re a foodie, a sales letter “deconstructed”).

    Think of the key elements in any sales letter:
    – Testimonials
    – Overcoming objections
    – Guarantee

    When I create a S&A box, I like to separate these elements into separate formats. I might create a 5″x7″ booklet with a title like “7 Reasons People Give For Not (Buying,Starting,etc) With Such-And-Such (Service/Product) and Why They Wouldn’t Hold Up In Court”. I would then list the major objections and crush those objections.

    For the guarantee, I might put it on a 6″x9″ heavy stock paper with a fancy border to make it look “official”.

    For the testimonials, I might put this in a 11″x17″ saddle-stitched booklet, call it “Our Clients Speak” or “Real Life Success Stories”, and then insert as many full-length pages as possible with client pictures, etc.

    The idea with including different paper formats (booklets, cards, flow charts, diagrams) and/or media formats is that some people may not read a 16-page sales letter, but they might grab a testimonial booklet and thumb through it. Or they might take a CD and listen to it in the car. This way at least SOME of your marketing message is sure to get through.

    • Mike Capuzzi on September 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Barry – GREAT input! Thanks! Say hi to Darlene!

  2. Jenny on September 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Would you discourage blind shock and awe packages when targeting your potential clients?

    • Mike Capuzzi on September 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Jen – good question and the answer depends on a lot of other questions. When you say “blind” do you mean they don’t know who it comes from or they did not ask for it? I cannot see why you would send something valuable and not tell them who it is from, but I can see sending them a package without them asking for it.

Leave a Comment