The Future of Direct Mail
Boldt: Do you think email and social media and mobile will fade over time ... and direct mail make a comeback of sorts?
Bly: Email will continue to be a powerhouse in online marketing unless some change is made in the internet to negate that; e.g., better spam filters, even tougher laws, a per-email transmission charge. Social media is a decidedly minor marketing method when it comes to generating ROI and will be even less important in the future when everybody realizes what a waste of time it is.
Greenawalt: As in life, media and communication evolution is unavoidable. I'm sensing some decline in social media, except more people using it to IM and email. Regular email is already fading. Twitter seems to be used most often by older users. The only letters people write today are thank-you notes and wedding invitations. Even party invitations are often evites. For the foreseeable future, it's mobile.
Engel: Not really. I think we'll see new and more advanced forms of social media. Email is here to stay, but consumer control of what they receive will only increase. However, as these channels become even more cluttered, direct mail will continue to provide a standout opportunity for marketers.
Tyson: You can't sell a magazine subscription using social media. A great many people have confused branding and audience engagement with making a sale. Some social media have already started to fade. I haven't seen any evidence that customers prefer email, Facebook or Twitter when subscribing to a magazine. In fact, quite the opposite is true. And, that's why I feel pretty confident that direct mail will resurface as an important channel of subscriptions.
Goodman: As for email marketing, companies are going to focus on what helps them attain their goals. I think what you see happening right now are people are realizing that even though email marketing is much lower priced than direct mail, it is not providing the numbers that people need to grow their business. With open rates for house lists hovering at 20 percent, it is leaving 80 percent of their customer bases uncovered and completely open to their competitors if they are not using direct mail in association with email.