The Newest Junk Mail Hater
Let’s get this out on the table right now—I love junk mail.
Compared to spam—the ultimate time sucker—a little daily junk mail (which can be opened over the recycling bin) is dream stuff.
And. by the way, I love the term, “junk mail.”
Years back, any mention of the term “junk mail” in the media brought huffy letters from members of the direct marketing community demanding an apology from the offender.
When the great West Coast copywriter, the late Bill Jayme, was asked what he did for a living. “I write direct mail solicitations for magazines,” he said, “such as Atlantic Monthly, BusinessWeek, Civilization, American Heritage and many others. High-class junk mail. I call it ‘junque mail.’”
Jayme went on to say people love junk mail—and junk.
“Vintage car buffs love junk yards,” Jayme once said to me. “Antique collectors love junk shops. For a brief period, Wall Street had a love affair with junk bonds. Vacationers love to head for the Caribbean with a pile of junk fiction. And what would a Hong Kong fisherman be without his j**k?”
General agencies hate direct mail because it is accountable and for years have tried to persuade their clients that it is the ugly little step-sibling of advertising.
Junk mail—direct mail—is in fact the aristocrat of advertising.
Pankaj Shah’s Master Plan
Pankaj Shah is founder and CEO of GreenDimes, a company that is hoping to put direct mailers out of business by generating anger at unwanted mail and its alleged destruction of trees and damage to the environment.
One of Shah’s citations is the WildWest Institute’s statistic that 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce 4.5 million tons of junk mail, with 44 percent of that thrown away unopened.
(For the record, more than 90% is thrown away unopened.)