Direct mail is the hot new media

Direct mail is the hot new mediaWho would have thought it?  People have been predicting the death of direct mail for over a decade.  And yet, here we stand in 2013 and have to admit — direct mail is the hot new media.

As everyone flocks to spending more time online, a curious thing happened  Our mailboxes got a lot less crowded.  Which means that we pay more attention to what shows up every day in the mail.

Which doesn’t mean you don’t still have to do it well.  Many people sort their mail over the wastebasket and if you don’t catch their attention in those few nanoseconds, all could still be lost.

Here are some of our favorite ways to make sure McLellan Marketing Group‘s clients get noteworthy results from their direct mail efforts.

Be odd:  Odd sized mail is always noticed.  Or use a translucent envelope with a bright colored piece of paper inside.  Think texture too — maybe the envelope feels interesting or different.  The point is to get noticed before they even open up the piece.

Be lumpy: Want to get opened for sure?  Be 3-dimentional.  Lumpy mail gets opened because no one wants to accidentally throw away something of value. And better yet — no admin or secretary is going to open a package addressed to their boss.  So you can dodge the gatekeeper with a bit of bulk.

Be late:  The focus has shifted from drop date to in-home date. Studies have shown time and time again that the end of the week to be most effective for delivery. This is based on the tested and proven theory that many people spend time on the weekend going through mail that was put aside to look at again. Having the mail piece arrive closer to the weekend puts your mail on top of the pile.

Take advantage of the fact that direct mail is the hot new media — start showing up in your customers’ and prospects’ mailboxes but do it smart.  Be odd, lumpy and late and you’ll get opened every time!


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10 comments on “Direct mail is the hot new media

  1. Deb Brown says:

    Drew –
    Love the advice, just have one question. How much before an event should you send a piece of direct mail?


  2. Ed says:

    Interesting insights, Drew.
    Also, demonstrates (to me) there is more potential life in traditional marketing methods, in general, than some might think.
    I got my first job in advertising planning thanks to direct mail (sent in a colourful, printed CV with new but cheap edition of Importance of Being Ernest – sent around, and got invited for 4 interviews because of it).
    Lastly, just included your blog in our new List / Aggregator “Top 1oo Blogs for Digital Marketers / Marketing Strategists”.

  3. I would agree certain parts of these in business such as product marketing via direct mail but I believe that an email management system will still suffice trends in communicating online. I believe people will still opt for emailing customer support to do queries or phone them instead of waiting for direct mails.. nice read.

  4. John Cameron says:

    Hi Drew,

    You’re right. Another tactic that works well is to have the address hand written with a stamp and a address only label for the return address. It gets opened almost every time. Curiosity.

    Another tactic is to put a short message on an odd shape like a circle (heavier stock) so it falls out when the letter is opened. Try it a home it works like a cat and a toy.

  5. Joe says:

    Excellent tips, Off line marketing is one of biggest strategies at the moment, we have had some great results so far, so people do still read there mail.

  6. Rick Marilynn says:

    As the world changed and as the competition increased grabbing the attention becomes a key part. The read is really great. I’ve been in the direct mail marketing for quite some time and my key factor was personalization of mails, but now it’s changing focus to standout from the crowd as well.

  7. Maciej Fita says:

    It is strange but I am personally starting to respond more to direct marketing than ever before and I am pro digital. I live in a town that has a slightly older demographic and direct marketing here is actually flourishing. I used to live in Boston and up there it was not as powerful. I think you have to evaluate where you live and who would more likely respond to this type of marketing initiative.

  8. Joey Gedgaud says:

    I lot of business figured direct mail was to expense and had no ROI but sense everyone left you can easily stand out. With the new mail options from the USPS its cheaper and easier then ever. Its a great option. Thanks.

  9. I’ve heard a lot of advice leaning towards postcards because they don’t need to be opened. But, I love the tips to try and get a letter opened. Hadn’t thought about being “lumpy.” Thanks.

  10. Excellent and honest post. I found this much useful information.

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