If the past few decades have taught us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable. No where is this more true than in business. The rapid pace of technology and communication has changed the way we do everything, including the way we market and promote our products to customers, the way we develop an audience, the way we cultivate brand loyalty and make our message heard.
In this constantly evolving business landscape, the rules of engagement are constantly changing. Marketing through e-mail, apps and social media have become the norm, as businesses strive to find new creative ways to reach people. Just when a new rule or practice has been established, somebody breaks it — and changes the rules again.
So where does this leave direct mail marketing? A lot of businesses out there haven’t even thought of this term in awhile. The idea of having paper flyers or letters printed up and sent out to physical mailboxes seems like an antiquated practice from a bygone area.
And yet, if you pay attention to what many of the most successful businesses (both small and large) out there are doing, it becomes clear that direct mail marketing is very much alive and well. And if you really stop and think about it, it’s not hard to see why.
The convenience and speed of reaching people instantly through their mobile devices or laptops is, of course, unmatched. But the most important question is not whether your method of customer engagement is convenient and fast for you, the business owner. The most important question is whether you’re really reaching people through that method, or whether your message is falling on deaf ears.
To be sure, both direct mail marketing and digital marketing are nuanced practices that require a clear strategy and impeccable execution. Both methods can end up being a waste of time and money if they aren’t executed properly, while both can bring in good results when they are done right.
So what’s the future of direct mail marketing?
Nobody out there is asking about the future of digital marketing. This seems like a given, even though the ways and means through which businesses reach people digitally will continue to change and evolve. But the future of direct mail marketing, for many people, is a far more interesting question.
The truth is, direct mail marketing can’t change as much as digital marketing can. With direct mail marketing, you always end up with the same set of steps: A message, a paper delivery system, a mailing list, a mailbox, and ultimately a reader. In that sense, the future of direct mail marketing will rely on the same fundamental principles that it always has relied on.
- Expert planning, messaging and design
- Impeccable printing and packaging
- Effective, targeted mailing lists that put your message in front of the right people
In short, the future of direct mailing is constant. As long as people receive and read physical mail, there will be an opportunity for businesses to use this channel to interact with people. The question is whether you, the business manager or owner, find a direct mail marketing specialist who actually has the tools and expertise to deliver time and again.