Staying Alive: Why Direct Mail Continues to Thrive
"Everytime something else came along," says Keith Goodman, "the futurists would say 'oh, now this is definitely going to kill direct mail. But here we are, after the radio ad, and the television ad, and the Internet, and email marketing, and the banner ad, and content marketing and so on and so forth." And, year upon year, direct mail continues to be an integral part of almost every well-rounded direct marketing campaign.
Speaking at the DMA headquarters in New York City on Tuesday, Goodman-the VP of direct mail solutions provider Modern Postcard-delivered a "Direct Mail Crash Course" to a room full of eager small- to mid-sized business marketers, looking to change up the way they market. From photographers to John Adams impersonators, their needs were many-and the common denominator was that direct mail could help them reach potential clients.
One of the most fascinating moments of the day came when Goodman compared the concept of email marketing to direct mail. "Email marketers will brag when they have open rates of 15 to 30 percent," he said. "But if you send something in the mailbox? As long as someone picks it up, that's an open rate of 100 percent!" The recipient is almost guaranteed to see it, as mail already has an established and trusted place in the daily life of a home. While unknown emails are quickly deleted as spam, direct mail is an accepted form of advertising new products and services to consumers and businesses.
As the trends and tides of marketing have risen and receded, the world of direct marketing is in constant flux, but one thing seems to remain the same, down through the years: direct mail as a solid foundation for an integrated marketing mix.