Snail Mail: Trash or Treasure?

Posted: January 9, 2012 by Elyse Royer


Reach out to ALL segments of your market.

Internet marketing has become a giant in the marketing game over the past decade or so, but why? Businesses have made a conscious effort to reach out to a large segment of their audience and meet them on the web. It can be argued that the reasoning behind those efforts is to expand their reach to be more inclusive. While that is a sound way of thinking, you must also ask yourself ‘does it make sense to completely ignore another audience – those who do not have access to or regularly use the internet?’ A significant amount of business owners still see the value of direct mail marketing.

The US Post Office has definitely been struggling, but not necessarily at the hands of business owners. While seeing neither an increase or decrease in 2010 of advertising mailings, 2011 brought a surprising 3% increase, now accounting for 48% of all mail (statistic provided by the postal service, found in The Wall Street Journal article “Post Office’s Rescue Plan: Junk Mail”).

It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the available marketing channels, but direct mail marketing probably shouldn’t be ignored just yet. This infographic exists to show the increasing importance of inbound (or “new”) marketing by showing how much more popular it is becoming than outbound (or “old”) marketing… except did they really achieve their goal of showing how ineffective outbound marketing has become? They note that 44% of direct mail is never opened, but if that is the case, doesn’t that mean 56% of it actually IS opened? I would be throwing myself a mini-party at my desk if every email campaign I sent had a 56% open rate.

Make direct mail marketing work for you:

Customize printed mail to drive readers to the internet to create a hybrid advertisement (with supplemental QR codes, listing web and email addresses, adding social media contact information) to also appeal to those more comfortable with digital media vs. printed materials.

Include promotion codes unique to your mailings to track the origin of each business transaction.

No more mailing list purchasing! Take advantage of new postal service rules – exact names or addresses are no longer required for delivery.

What experiences have you had with directly mail recently? Are you more likely to make a purchase if you receive physical mail? Should direct mail be put to bed? I’d love to know your thoughts!

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