Tracy Petrucci: Is Direct Mail Making A Comeback?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is Direct Mail Making A Comeback?

I have not designed a direct mail marketing item in years. I, like many marketers, dropped the archaic old method and started focusing on online marketing. Snail mail is expensive, a shot in the dark, and it's- starting to work again?

I've read a few studies which have found the response rates are double and tripling in regards to direct mail campaigns, as of late. But those studies are not what made me start questioning this. I have been receiving these in the mail, weekly (and in this case, in one day's delivery):

It's definitely not winning me over, because I get one every day, no joke. BUT recently they got my attention, finally. They sent a different shaped postcard, sort folded into a booklet. I opened it up, and there was this incredible deal for cable (which we don't currently have). It almost got me. Almost.

This isn't the first time I've blogged about the importance of making an impression on potential customers. If I decided I wanted cable, Cox would probably be the first company I'd call since they are fresh on my mind. It's the same reason local politicians put up signs everywhere during election season, hoping when you're standing at the polls and you don't know who is who, you'll just go with something familiar.

Do most small businesses have this kind of marketing budget? No way. Nor do I support Cox's extremely wasteful strategy. But it does make me think about how every now and then you might want to consider promoting something the good ol fashioned way. In the case of a store I used to market, we'd design postcards similar to these Cox ones, and buy lists pertaining to the event we were advertising. Remember, in email marketing, you can't buy lists from any credible source. But in snail mail, you can.

When I empty my mail box I am sick of seeing the grocery mailers, penny saver, and other scratchy newspaper print ads. The shiny, pretty postcards do actually get my attention, I can't lie.

Thinking about trying it? I used a great company Modern Postcard who I strongly recommend. You can keep it really simple if time and design are concerns of yours. Here is one side of a postcard we did after I traveled through and sourced products from South America- EASY!

A striking color combination can do the trick!

Here's an example of another kind of event we've hosted:

Obviously sending a postcard can be promoting any number of things, let me know if you need help using this old but tested method.

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