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Archive for October 5th, 2011

9 great reasons to invest in STAMPS and send SNAIL MAIL

I received a nifty piece of mail the other day from a friend and colleague in the publishing industry. This simple paper bag wrapper did a couple things: first, it made me smile. Secondly, it caused me to open the mail immediately, when otherwise I might have let it sit a bit before I opened it. What’s the lesson in this for you? Read on.

If you’ve been online for a while – or stepped more than your big toe into the Internet marketing waters – you may have encountered a little myth that continues to be perpetuated by people who know better: All you need is a great online presence. Yes, it’s true. A great online presence will give significant weight to your marketing campaign. But the best marketers, the ones whose clients are really making a name for themselves, also are integrating strong offline marketing strategies. These people still invest in stamps and snail mail.

But stamps are expensive!

Really? Really??! Where else on earth can you put a piece of paper in an envelope, affix a little sticker to the corner of the envelope, place the envelope in the blue metal boxes that are generally a stone’s throw from each other in any decent-sized city, and be fairly certain that envelope will travel to the address indicated within a day or two – whether that address is next door or on the other side of the country – all for 44 cents? Snail mail is a bargain for the price!

But why should I do it? And what kind of snail mail should I send?

As master marketer Denise Lones and others point out, the most effective marketing campaigns touch a prospect/client list no less than 36 times a YEAR – that’s three times a month! And those contacts must vary across online and offline connections.

Which brings us back to snail mail. Here are 9 great reasons to invest in some stamps:

  1. When was the last time you opened an e-mail newsletter? We are inundated with e-mail these days. Even the stuff we like often gets put off for later, or deleted, because we just don’t have time.
  2. The physicality of touching the mail imprints on us in a way that e-mail cannot.
  3. The receiver can save a postcard, newspaper, or other mailing to read at their leisure – unlike email, which usually gets skimmed and/or deleted immediately.
  4. You can use interesting formats for your direct mail: paper bags, yellow legal pads, bubble packs make for attractive mail that generates immediate interest. Put on your creativity cap and come up with your own great idea!
  5. Use the mail to send a keeper like a bookmark, CD, or even a booklet.
  6. Direct mailers make it easy to reach a specific target market with information about your book launch or signings in their area.
  7. Postcards don’t have to be opened.
  8. It works! According to MIR.com, Americans spent more than $363 billion in 2010 in response to direct mail advertising. A year or so ago, I took a postcard for Smashburger out of my mailbox just as dinnertime was rolling around. Guess where my husband and I went for dinner…
  9. Send a serial mailing, escalating the urgency with each subsequent mailer. Postcard 1 describes the offer. Postcard 2 reminds you there’s only a week left to act. Postcard 3 tells you get it now, or you WILL lose out.

Dan Kennedy, the king of direct mail marketing, is a huge advocate of “lumpy mail” – snail mail that has bulk, as opposed to a flat envelope. In his blog, Kennedy explains why lumpy mail works:

But why does dimensional mail work? Why does it increase response?

Well I’m convinced that the simple reason is because it adds a bit of intrigue to the mailing, which allows it to overcome the toughest task in small business marketing … getting your mail piece opened … getting your mail piece opened FIRST … and getting your mail piece read!

Thanks, Kas, for the reminder to slow down once in a while. Write a note, create an interesting mailing, slap a stamp on a piece of mail and get connected.

Happy mailing!

Laura

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