Direct Mail and The Value of the Printed Piece

Catamount Marketing Direct MailEverything old becomes new again. There’s a revival happening with printing. What was left for dead or dying over the past six or seven years has risen back to reclaim its worthy place amongst digital forms of communication and creativity that we are enveloped in. Print, though different in some ways, has come back around full circle.

Within my own printing business, and in discussions with clients, prospects, and peer marketing discussions, the printed piece, as a marketing communications tool, has patiently regained its place alongside other digital media as an integral component of a multichannel marketing strategy. People consume content in a variety of ways, often all at once, and effective marketing is delivering good content in the most relevant manner, that gets someone with a need to know, like and trust you. Making the printed piece one of those touch points is steadily being employed alongside internet marketing tactics and starts to look attractive in comparison to the bloated volume of interruption email.

But here’s the deal, whether by inbox or mailbox interruption marketing is interruption marketing. If there’s no relevance to me, or my lifestyle, my interests or background, then you’re interrupting me. But deliver a message that speaks to me because you know something about me, what I like, or my connections, and I’ll at least take a look.

The compelling aspect of the printed piece, and in particular direct mail, is holding a tangible piece in my hand that I’m employing more of my five senses to as I consider its message. An attractively designed and creatively worded piece of paper has shelf life potential that email simply doesn’t. If I decide to toss it away, I have to physically hold it and look at it before I decide to do so. While email is more measurable and has the HUGE advantage of connecting me to the power and depth of the Internet, it’s also very easy to delete en mass along with the dozens or hundreds of other messages that I’m flushing daily.  When done right, with a measurable call-to-action and/or directing the reader to a landing page, direct mail is equally as measurable.

Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us enjoy getting mail as part of a daily routine of connection and receiving; except the bills of course. The physical piece in my mailbox stands out and grabs my attention; and if it speaks to me and my interests and needs, I read it, I hold onto it, and I act on it when the time is right.

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