Well, here we are in July of the Craziest Year Ever (CYE). The news and our lives are still being affected daily by the pandemic. I go back and forth between reading every news article and being sick (sorry) of it all. How much we’re still learning about the virus is a reminder of how sudden this whole thing came upon us. We’re four plus months into the worst of it and it seems like four years.
One of the interesting (and somewhat comforting) aspects of the post-Covid 19 world is how creatively businesses are adapting to the current reality. TV ads which feature the company’s message in the context of a bad Zoom connection are funny and timely and very effective. Who can’t relate to that gal who lost her audio connection during a remote meeting? And reading in today’s paper about how local breweries are setting up impromptu beer gardens in their parking lots to keep their businesses going despite all the restrictions and impediments is inspiring and reassuring. Those are only two examples of how Americans are making the best of this very bad situation with creative energy and moxie.
But today’s post is getting back to some marketing and sales fundamentals. And perhaps the most fundamental is getting a good-looking, well-drafted and properly targeted message to a potential customer. There are numerous ways to do this; ads and e mails are two of the most common. But what about direct mail? Here are some of the best reasons to consider the US Mail for your next campaign.
You can hold it in your hand - Anyone who has watched a detective or legal drama on TV has probably heard the phrase, “possession is nine-tenths of the law”. You can find out more about the history of this phrase here but suffice it to say, there’s power in this. You can argue that an ad perceived, or e mail read is, at least for that moment, “possessed”. But the lasting value and impact of something tangible in your hand is superior to something considered only briefly or in passing. Mail is often left on the counter or a desk where it can be re-read and considered anew: potentially more bang for your marketing buck!
The differentiation factor – I’ve remarked many times that you rarely hear someone complain about too much “junk mail” these days. Most of the complaints in that regard have to do with e mails. The main benefits of e mail messages are of course, low cost and immediacy. But these days, when spam filters are becoming more sophisticated, how many e mails from your campaign are reaching the prospect? And of those that do, how many are being read or considered by the person desperately trying to get some work done?
The presentation factor – One of the best practices for e mail blasts these days is to keep them as plain and concise as possible. Including photos and links can trigger those same spam filters and make it less likely to reach the target. Now, while concision of expression is most certainly a virtue, some color and interesting graphics can have a major impact on how someone perceives and ultimately considers your message. These are ways to communicate your personality to a potential buyer (or more importantly to a contributor for a fundraising mailing) which create connection. Unless you’re a very talented writer, this will not be the case with a dry e mail.
And while the Post Office has made it easy and relatively inexpensive for small businesses to send a mail piece as part of their “Every Door” direct mail program, as an envelope converter and envelope printer, we feel strongly that a personalized letter in an envelope will have the greatest impact. If for no other reason, many people will appreciate the time and expense of the effort and will open something that is personally addressed to them.
Let me know if you agree with my take on this. Comments are always appreciated!