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Why (And How) Savvy Marketers Still Use Direct Mail in the Age of the Internet

Why (And How) Savvy Marketers Still Use Direct Mail in the Age of the Internet

There is no doubt that we live in the Internet age. Phone calls and in-person meetings have been replaced by email, instant messaging and Zoom conferences.

So you might think that the digital age and the embrace of technology would have been the final death knell for direct mail, but there has been an interesting resurgence in the world of direct mail marketing. And, ironically, the Internet has helped to create the current rise.

The sensory overload created by the information superhighway has caused many consumers to simply ignore the contents of their email inboxes, scouring dozens of messages in a matter of minutes and trashing all but the most critical.

Business owners and marketers that want to break through the noise of the Internet, so they can be heard, need to hit their customers where they live — literally. There is no better way to accomplish that goal than with a great direct mail marketing campaign.

Direct mail's average lifespan is 17 days

After all, even the most tech-savvy consumer still makes that daily trek to the mailbox. Direct mail gives marketers the chance to get the attention of their customers as they make their way back inside. But time is short, and the message needs to be compelling, urgent and unique.

Simply put, marketers need to make their direct mail marketing messages stand out from all the rest. The customers you are targeting are likely to find multiple mail pieces in their mailboxes every day; the challenge is making sure that yours is the one that gets noticed. Here are some ideas…

 

1. Oversized or Uniquely-Shaped Mailers

One of the easiest ways marketers and business owners can make their direct mail messages stand out is to make them a different size. There are some cost implications to this strategy, both in production and postage costs, but it can be an effective way to break through the clutter and get the attention of consumers.

 

2. Include Physical Objects

Adding a physical object to the mailing is another way to make it stand out. Humans are curious, so if they feel something inside an enclosed envelope, that may just be enough for them to open it. This concept is often used by nonprofit organizations in their appeal mailings.

 

3. Create A Sense of Urgency

Adding stickers and warning messages to direct mail is yet another way to make it stand out from the crowd. Messages like “Time-Sensitive Materials Enclosed” and “Open at Once” can get the attention of consumers and convince them to investigate further. This strategy can work even better when paired with other direct mail staples, like unusual envelope colors and different sizes.

 

4. Make It Feel Personal

Including handwritten and personal messages is one last way for marketers and business owners to make their messages stand out. Even in the age of the Internet, email and text messages, handwriting gets attention. It is easy enough to mass produce these handwritten messages, driving costs down and making this strategy as affordable as it is effective.

 

We may be living in the age of the Internet, but that does not mean that direct mail will be disappearing anytime soon. The demise of direct mail has been predicted so often it has become a cliché, but no matter how popular online communication becomes, hundreds of millions of us still make that daily trek to the mailbox.


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