Direct Marketing and in particular Direct Mail is a modern day solution for small business to stay front of mind with their customers.
About 35 years ago, one of the most efficient ways to get your message across or out to your customers was with the use of direct mail. Direct marketing especially for smaller operators was a whole lot cheaper and more effective than mass media like radio and television and more than held its own compared with newspaper and magazine advertising.
Back then one of the key advantages of this form of direct marketing was that the majority of mail was opened and read. The type of direct mail I am speaking about was delivered personally addressed and usually in a plain envelope with a stamp. Because of the cost advantage a lot of mail was delivered “To the householder” or “The business owner” or something similar. Even this generic mail had a high open rate, making it quite worthwhile and cost effective.
Personally addressed mail could be economically used to maintain contact and develop relationship, launch a new product, or introduce a sale or promotion. It was a very popular and effective means of communicating.
Around this time a new phenomenon was taking hold – electronic mail or Email as it became popularly known. It was new and novel, it captured our imagination and the best thing from a marketer’s perspective – it was FREE. It takes a lot to beat free.
Business was quick to embrace it, but due to the low numbers of early adopters on the internet direct mail was still holding its position. Naturally as more people moved onto the internet, business found it hard to resist free and increasingly popular. In fact they even released a love movie around the theme of it in 1998 called “You’ve Got Mail” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Seventeen years on from the movie and we have a different story. The vast majority of people and businesses today are connected to the internet. We have witnessed the development of social media to the point where many find it hard to forgo their daily dose of Facebook or Twitter. The bulk of business and even corporate have moved their direct marketing efforts to at least one if not all of these electronic media.
Electronic media has taken centre stage, the masses are there, it’s still free but increasingly to make it work, we have to adopt the paid version. And here we are just seventeen years after the movie and it is losing its shine. Back in 1998 close to 100% of emails were acknowledged and read. Today 67% of emails slide through the system totally ignored, no acknowledgement what so ever. Less people are looking at their Facebook feed and it is reaching fewer than ever, unless you opt for paying to increase your reach. In 2014 it was reported that more than 11 million young people have fled Facebook since 2011.
All the way through this time some smart marketers stayed with direct mail as the proven system of communication. Those who stayed and those adopting it now are enjoying a welcomed reception and are standing out from the crowd who deserted to electronic media.
Amazingly if you post a letter or a card to someone today it has a better than 99% chance of being opened and read. So, it stands to reason that those involved direct marketing or any business person for that matter wanting to reach out to his customers or some other audience would be wise to use Direct Mail. It is proving itself to be the modern day solution for small business to reach out and stay front of mind with their customers.
Today there are many cost effective ways of getting your message economically delivered by mail and the one I recommend is SendOutCards.com/ronandsueRon and Sue