“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
– Mark Twain
I’ve seen a lot of articles lately – maybe because I’m tuned into them – asking whether direct paper mail is dead. The answer is universal: no.
(That’s good news for a lot of printers!)
Just think, about 50 years ago a lot of movie house operators were panicked thinking that television was going to wipe them out. It didn’t, but it did change how they did business.
For example, there were (and are) things that movies can do that television can’t (yet). Despite big screen TV’s, there’s nothing like sitting in huge theater that fills your vision and ears with an all-encompassing experience – and sharing it with others. But as special as they are, movies were forced to evolve. The IMAX format can’t be duplicated in any at-home system (yet).
So it is with direct mail. As much as you want someone to hold onto an email, it rarely stays in an email box for more than 48 hours. The direct mail piece may sit on a desk for a month, maybe more.
Until there’s a tablet device in every purse and briefcase, paper is simply more portable. Besides, it’s much quicker to put a letter in your briefcase to read later than it is to start up your computer.
Paper has evolved, too. Email merge functionality allowed direct mail to adopt “mass customization” at very competitive costs. PURLs (Personalized URLs) and tiny URLs let direct mailers make giving more efficient and track-able. Plus there’s QR codes.
I could go on, but suffice to say that paper direct mail is definitely not gone. It’s just one of many other options… an option that can raise you a lot of money if used to its potential.