This Article is About
direct mail marketing
seth godin
mail pieces
direct mail
keeping fit
desperate need
health club
paying attention
generosity
Are We Seeing The Death Of Direct Mail Marketing?
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Are We Seeing the Death Of Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail (brochures, catalogs, letters, postcards, etc) is expensive. Printing is expensive. Postage is expensive. The rate of return is so pitiful that a good campaign gets 1-3 percent response!

When was the last time you bought something because of a direct mail piece?

Even if you have done so in the recent past, I would wager that 99% of marketing mail sent to you doesn’t even register on your radar, let alone encourage you to buy something.

What sells? Well it certainly isn’t turning your direct mail pieces into direct digital pieces and spamming all of cyberspace just because it doesn’t cost you for printing and stamps.

Direct mail is failing for more reasons than just its cost. It is failing because, as Seth Godin puts it, no one is PAYING attention.

Seth emphasizes PAYING because that really is the bottom line. We are busier than ever and our time is at a serious premium. We are more discretionary than ever when it comes to what we will and will not allow our time to be used for.

So, to ask again, what sells?

People sell. Connections sell. Humanity and generosity sell. A cause or movement sells. Love sells. Laughter sells. Education sells. Entertainment sells.

What do the people you want to reach value? Stop thinking about what you want and start thinking about what they want.

It is so tempting to want to give in to our desperate need to throw an instant ‘BUY BUY BUY – SALE SALE SALE’ message. However, if you do, the chances are great your message is hitting the trash can – whether than is digital or physical.

Instead, focus on giving the customer what they want. Get them interested. Get them invested. Build up their trust and their confidence in you as a supplier of things worth their time. (NO! Not your product.)

Make your information easy to find if the customer does have a need, but don’t try to regularly sell them on your company’s services or products. For instance, a health club might send out a free publication with tips on keeping fit, the latest debates on the benefits of water and some interesting new fitness plans in development. No where in that entire newsletter do you say ‘And you can try it all at our health club!’. Instead keep a tasteful bottom area that says the newsletter is a free service of your health club which provide affordable dedicated attention to your health. Then include a tasteful bit of contact information.

The newsletter’s focus on the customer, not you, tells the customer that they can expect more of the same if they seek out your business. Of course, you have to follow up and deliver on that. If you practically put a bar code on a customer and send them along the conveyer belt of your company’s ‘boxed service’ you can be sure the word will spread and your marketing will be seen as the fake it is.

Naturally there are thousands of ways besides a newsletter that you can put this principle to work. Brainstorm with employees, friends, family, anyone you can get a hold of and always, always add value.


Street Talk

Great article Celia...The internet has certainly become the new means of marketing!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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