Direct Mail. RIP? Are mailboxes the next opportunity?

RIP Direct Mail?

Is direct mail dead and gone? That depends if you think Social Media is still the new shiny trend.

The market and trends ebb and flow. I mean, how could you make a solicitation call before the telephone came into being?  How could you use photography in your marketing before the camera became a viable option? And of course, before the Gutenberg press, paper books and flyers were all handwritten one page at a time!

In turn, every new form of media disrupts the market place for a time. So since the 50s with TV, the early naughts developing search with Yahoo and Google, and now the new age of Social Media, these tools are at your fingertips. Is it wise to put all of your eggs in one basket?

Consider a basketball team. They have a couple of all-star players and several supporting players. You can spend most of your time and energy, letting your best players make points. But when the top scorer gets a twisted ankle, you could be in trouble.

Snail Mail vs. Social Media Trap

If you haven’t watched “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix, it is a fantastic look at the world behind the scenes. The power and control that Facebook, Instagram, Google, Apple, Twitter, and even Pinterest have to view your data and know what you are thinking are incredible. The key takeaway I had is that they have the power to ‘just change’. Suppose tomorrow Facebook wanted to shut down ads directed at your target market or 10X their fees for advertising. You would be stuck.

How many thousands of hours and projects have you committed to the algorithms and figuring out the perfect formula for your audience?

What if ‘Michael Jordan’ twists his ankle?

Are you prepared to continue your marketing?

Have you designed a different strategy?

Do you have control over your clients’ data and engagement with your company?

All these questions circle around being diversified, not just in your portfolio and client base, but in how you reach them as well.

I don’t mind you arguing that smartphones and the internet consume our day, so why not market using that forum. You can even say that with less driving and commuting in the WFH (work from home) era, billboards and signs might lose more of their effect. But those working at home have an address. This means they have a mailbox. With a mailbox comes a direct mail opportunity.

Are you top of mind, or bottom of the pile?

You can tell me you don’t read your post (as our friends across the pond say it) and what a waste of time it is.

So I’ll ask you this; when an ad starts to play before your Hulu show or the next video you are watching on YouTube, how much do you pay attention to? Is it only our favorite insurance commercials that grab our attention?

(Quick sidebar, I get letters in the mail from those insurance companies almost weekly. So they aren’t putting all of their eggs in one basket. I thought I should mention that.)

“On average, businesses should expect to pay $1-$2 per click to advertise on the Google search network. Every month, the average small and medium-sized businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 on PPC. This equates to approximately $108,000 to $120,000 per year. ”

Now, for $2 on average, you could mail a letter to 4-5 individuals that you have deemed a possible audience for your product/service. Using a direct mail house, that cost can be as low as $0.40 per piece, INCLUDING postage. A 6×9 postcard equates to the size and amount of information you would want on your landing page. Is anyone else doing the ‘mail math’ with me?

P.S. that’s also about 3X the size of your smartphone screen.

Here are your significant advantages and opportunities right now.

  • If I added up all the letters I received in the mail last week, it would comfortably fit into a pocket folder. You might agree?
  • If I printed every email I received in my various spam folders last week; it would take a 3” binder at a minimum.
  • Finally, if I had to download the scripts and images from all of the photos and videos I was sent and directed towards in the past seven days, let’s just say my Cloud storage isn’t going to cut it anymore, much less a binder.

Still don’t believe ME? Check this article out about other industries taking another look at Direct Mail in the current economy.

Think about marketing to your customer like a crowded bar or concert.

Would you rather be there trying to shout at your friend from across the way and hope they are listening to you? Or sit 1 to 1 with a friend over coffee (or Zoom) and communicate while not distracted by anything else.

Postcards don’t play videos (yet), and they don’t have a music track (however) and can’t be deleted with a small X in the top corner. This means you have a physical, tangible piece that represents you. There are hundreds of methods and ways to go about creating a letter or postcard direct mail piece that will stand out, bring interest, and draw attention or get opened.

Take a moment to think about that.

When you are anticipating and excited to see what’s behind the curtain, you are more eager and accepting of the message. If you can’t wait for the show to be over, you associate that in your mind with negativity.

Does it make sense now why the little gecko and Flo are so funny? They make you WANT to watch and see what’s next while they hammer your brain with their message.

How about a giveaway? A prize? An actual gift inside of the envelope or packet that was mailed out? Now that is valuable, and now they like you! Positive reinforcement. The key to direct mail marketing is consistency, empathy in your message, and positive VALUE.

Focus on those, continue to serve your clients well, and you might surprise yourself with how successful your mailing campaign is. Just don’t make these common mistakes and you are off to a great start!

Letter to the wise

Again, you aren’t supposed to spend everything on direct mail and print advertising. But if you aren’t spreading the message to your audience where they are, you will not only miss opportunities, but you will waste more time and resources saying the same thing on the same platform when they stopped listening to the dollars you dropped on Facebook for the 834th time.

Let one of your goals for 2021 be to test out some new marketing strategies. If you haven’t even thought about tracking and testing a direct mail campaign, we can offer our recommendations for the follow-up and sales funnel integrations you can use.

Connect with our team at 602.995.7841 or book a meeting on our calendar HERE.

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I look forward to building creative direct mail marketing campaigns with you soon!


2 Responses

  1. Nice article. What I like about direct mail is that it’s almost always seen. Even if it’s just a glance. A glance is all that’s needed if some somebody is interested in something. And if the list is targeted properly, it ‘just so happens’ that they are. What a coincidence!

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