Direct mail… Back-in-the-day or Future Play?

With all the talk of social media, cell phone apps, email marketing, spam and the list goes on and on of “relevant” ways to keep in touch with and obtain new clients, I’ve asked myself if good old fashion direct mail is a back-in-the-day solution or a future play?

I don’t know about you, but I assume that Google and Yahoo know a thing or two about marketing, and I have been receiving direct mail from them recently promoting new ways to advertise my business and promote my products on their sites! Seems like a pretty strong case for direct mail to me. Can you appreciate the irony? Google and Yahoo using snail mail to promote their high tech web services.

Google and Yahoo Direct Mail pieces

Let’s face it, mail volumes are way down. Have you noticed how your mailbox (the physical one that sits outside of your house) contains about one third the daily volume of mail it used to just a few short years ago? Have you also noticed how your e-mail and PDA inboxes are jammed packed with SPAM? Which is the least competitive space to get your clear message through to your clients?

My point is that it seems to just make good sense to be a contrarian from time to time and take advantage of the not so obvious opportunities that occasionally present themselves. There are lots of wonderful gems to be found on the path less traveled!

With cost-per-clicks ranging in the $2 – $8 range a 30-cent stamp (rough cost for an average size direct mail postcard) seems pretty darn cheap. You know it will be delivered to the recipient and you know that they must at least look at it (click it) before they throw it away!

Food for thought – The printing and mailing industry has allowed the e-mail and pay-per-click folks to make some fairly absurd comparisons of the response rates and costs of snail mail vs. pay per click and e-mail blasts. Conventional direct mail Response rates do not necessarily translate equally to click rates. A common sence comparison of facts might surprise you. I’ll do some math next time!

Bob Moura

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