Stuck On You: Why Direct Mail Sticks Around

Stuck-on-you-why-direct-mail-sticks-aroundWhat do you do when you run across an email that you think is interesting—but don’t have time to review right now? If you’re like me, you leave it in your inbox so you can read it later. But three days later there are 200 additional messages in your inbox and you don’t have time to sort through them to find the one you were planning to read.

How about if you come across an interesting article online that you know you want to check out? Maybe you bookmark it. But unless you have some kind of reminder to go back and check it, you’ll likely to forget about it.

Direct mail’s sticky advantage

That’s where direct mail sometimes has a bit of an edge as a marketing tool. Lousy direct mail gets thrown in the trash right away. And by lousy, I mean messages that aren’t important to you. Or, mail pieces so poorly done that you don’t want to have anything to do with the company that sent them. But consumers hang on to interesting, intriguing, direct mail that they think may have value for them. And while it’s easy to delete an email (or forget about a bookmarked page), it takes just a touch longer to throw away a mailing. And touch is a key word here. People physically interact with direct mail. And that split second of touching can be enough to make some people take a second look.

Web designers talk about creating pages that are “sticky.” They get readers to stick around. Direct mail is “sticky” in a different way. It sticks around on the coffee table or the desktop or on the refrigerator.  And it’s a visual reminder of a message. Marketers are always talking about “mindshare”—staying at the front of someone’s consciousness. Good direct mail can do that.

It still has to be good

The operative word there, of course, is “good.” Poorly executed direct mail won’t stick around any longer than an unwanted email. You still need to think through your audience and your message and your offer. And you need to wrap all that in a package that attracts someone’s attention.

Ideally, you want to use your direct mail efforts to pull prospects into your website. There they can get as much or little information as they want. Marketing today isn’t a one-trick pony. You have to use all resources at your disposal to get your message across. However, direct mail has that unique ability to stick around and remind potential customers you have something they want or need.

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