Recently a business colleague mentioned that Google had contacted him with an offer. They were encouraging him to use their online services to advertise his business.
That’s not particularly newsworthy. Like any business, the folks at Google are trying to get the word out about how their services can help someone solve a problem. What’s unusual about this particular situation is that Google—one of the undisputed heavyweight players in the online arena—chose direct mail to reach out to this individual (and presumably thousands of others).
What does it mean, when an online giant such as Google resorts to such an “old school” method to reach customers? Why in the world wouldn’t Google simply stick to ads on their own site, or run ads on other web pages, or send emails? Is the digital sky falling?
The digital sky is not falling. Google (like other online businesses) is not abandoning their online approach. They’re just being smart by integrating a variety of marketing approaches. Who knows, they may even be counting on people being surprised by the fact that they are getting physical mail from an online company.
The folks at Google are smart. They know that different people respond to different approaches at different times. And they also know that it’s a little harder to throw away a piece of physical mail than it is to delete an email. And when that envelope sits on the desktop for a few days, it’s a constant reminder of the message.
One thing you can be sure of: the good folks at Google are keeping track of the results. They know exactly how many pieces they sent out—and to whom they were sent. And they know how many people responded—and how many actually placed ads.
What would happen if you integrated direct mail into your marketing mix? Would your clients and potential customers be surprised? Would your direct mail package stand out in the mailbox now that there is less competition there? Would your direct mail piece sit on a desk for a few days—reminding customers about who you are and what you have to offer?
You’ll never know until you try—and keep track of the results!