Snail Mail and Why We Love It

Why marketers love it is because it's a very well established mailing standard. Every property (and even those with just a box) has a postal address and you know that when spelled and annotated correctly, it has a 100% chance of getting delivered intact and mostly on time to the intended recipient, "to our neighbor", or "valued customer".

Why people love it is because it is an interactive communication piece with a tactile response. It's even better when it's personalized just for you; and, for the most part, it doesn't matter if it comes from a business or from a friend, although we like the latter part even better.

There are a lot of "standards" that just haven't died; although some who believe that everyone should be connected to everyone else online all the time want you to believe that it already has. The radio (118 yrs old). Fax machine (163 years, or for modern purposes 63 years). Libraries. Copiers. Telegrams. Land line telephones, etc.

Despite how traditional is trending against digital, according to the Direct Marketing Association's 2012 Response Rate report, the cost per order or lead acquisition costs were about the same regardless of the method used: direct mail ($51.40), postcard ($54.10), email ($55.24), and paid search ($52.58). Hmmm. Makes one wonder what's going on here.

It basically boils down to this:

Lower response
Higher response
Highest response
Lower cost
Higher cost
Highest cost

Every marketing channel has its pros and cons, but what marketers and new entrants in the market need to be aware of is a) who you are trying to reach, and b) how much are you willing to spend on your campaign.
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