Strategy Session: Making Mail More Relevant
The interesting thing about this personalization is that it was driven by only two data points: the year that the person took out his insurance policy and the cost of living indices.
Plus direct mail just feels more personal-it comes to your home or office; it has your name on it; and it is the only form of advertising you will ever read or ever write that begins with one word: "Dear."
3. The last unique advantage of direct mail is one that we have to protect as much as possible. Does anybody really trust TV commercials? We've all grown up with football-playing Clydesdales (Budweiser), talking babies (E*TRADE), friendly polar bears (Coca-Cola) and knowing that just about anything is possible through computer-generation.
Meanwhile, does anyone believe e-mail? Dozens of sites have popped up (Snopes.com is my favorite) whose sole purpose is to give you the facts behind that convincing e-mail you received. And I'm not even talking about Nigerian bank scams and lottery e-mails. I'm talking about the ones that are circulated by well-meaning friends and business associates who forward it before checking it out.
But direct mail is different. Direct mail gives you an opportunity to tell an authentic and convincing story, create credibility with specific facts and claims, and present relevant information to you.
In a world of spin and hype, a sincere letter can have much more of an impact on you than virtually any other medium. That is why we—the companies who practice it—have to jealously guard the credibility of everything we put into the mail.
The E-volution of Direct Mail
Will direct mail fail to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of marketing? Are we doomed to a similar fate as the dinosaurs? I hope so. Because as we all know, the dinosaurs really didn't die out. The best of them did adapt and became the beautiful creatures we now know as birds.