Direct Mail - Still a Great Option

The world of business and personal communications continues to shift at a rapid, almost head-spinning, pace.

No longer is there a one-channel solution.
Businesses are increasingly reliant on the internet to promote themselves and deliver their message.
Website development and search optimization are in growth mode.
Email blasts are right behind.
Then there’s  social media – Facebook, Twitter and a host of additional applications are thriving though the business model is not always clear, nor advertising driven.

That in turns seems to be migrating to the hand held device – whether it a smart phone or a tablet.
The personal concierge has not yet become an all-singing advertising medium because most of us reject the spam and banners and interruptions associated with internet travel.
But the handheld will continue to grow in importance as a platform for businesses reaching their audience.

This has led to another notion. Much is being touted about integrated marketing – mixing media channels – print, signage, wide format, and digital messaging.
Each of these channels ties to another, leveraging each channel,  the message and the brand.  The simplest form of this might be the QR code – a quick scan of a print piece delivers you to an internet address.

Inherent in all of this is an inference that print is dying or is dead.  
Wrong. Dead wrong.

Print still comprises a third or more of the media buy and remains a pillar of the marketing  mix for many businesses.
Part of this is due to the technological advancements in print which allow for personalized messaging by utilizing variable date which now becomes possible on digital print platforms.
This technology speeds delivery and allows each piece to be personalized.

Research in the industry tells us a few interesting tidbits:

·         79% of households skim or read direct mail sent to their homes
·         73% of consumers prefer direct mail as the source of new products to 18% who  prefer email
·         Spam is discarded at a 50% rate, unopened mail at 30%
·         Nearly half of folks find direct mail to be less intrusive than email,and less pressuring to be opened
·         The corollary - many people find direct mail to be a better leisure option – i.e. I’ll read it when I get a chance, so I keep it on the counter a few days

The USPS Household Diary study says that 85% of direct mail is at least skimmed.

Coupled with the ability to target via mail lists or blanket specific neighborhoods at very low rates through newer programs like Every Door Direct Mail, direct mail remains a key part of the messaging platform. Coupled with email and/or web-based connections, it can be even more effective.

This is but one small example of our new world. Print is not going away. It is changing, and how it is done is changing all the time to become more real time, personal and cost effective.

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