The Current State of Snail Mail
Think about it. An empty mailbox says something is wrong. We feel left out of the system. Did our favorite letter carrier have a heart attack? The soothing clatter of my front door mail slot every day is my one guarantee that everything is still functioning.
Recently, some nitwit at the U.S. Postal Service sanctioned Stamps.com to allow consumers to create their own First Class stamps containing a photo of their baby or pet. Suddenly, the drama and honor of commemorative stamps were hugely diminished. A number of people I've known over the years have been honored with stamps—Dwight Eisenhower, Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Langston Hughes, Bucky Fuller. It made me all the more proud to have known them. Then the wonderful TheSmokingGun.com created stamps with the visages of Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and war criminal and ethnic cleanser Slobodan Milosevic. Mercifully, this put Stamps.com out of business.
With the Can Spam Act and do-not-call laws, snail mail is once again the workhorse of direct marketing. And all direct marketers better learn how to write it, design it and find precisely the right people to send it to, or they will wind up in the same career ash heap as the smarty-pants, dot-com wizards of the late 1990s.
DENNY HATCH is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He is the author of three marketing books and three published novels. You are invited to visit him at www.dennyhatch.com.