Alive and Well

Nick Robinson

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”  -Mark Twain

Every few months, I see an article or blog post inquiring about the health of Direct Mail and whether or not it is or is not actually dead.  The attention grabbing headline is none too subtle either:

“Forget the Hype: Direct Mail Is Not Dead”

“Direct Mail is Not Dead: How to Excel at it For Your Business”

“If Direct Mail Is Dying, It’s Sure Taking Its Time About It …”

“Direct Mail: Is It Dead?”

“7 Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing is Not Dead”

And on and on.  Given all the ink (or pixels) devoted to depositing direct mail into an early grave, this is not a surprise.  I’ve been hearing about the demise of traditional direct mail marketing for over 20 years since Al Gore invented the internet.  Needless to say, these reports were also greatly exaggerated.  Direct mail – like all robust innovations – has evolved along with changes in technology and consumer preferences.  It is more targeted, more personalized, and more efficient than it ever has been… assuming, of course, that the direct marketer is availing themselves of the targeting, personalization, and efficiency that is at their fingertips.  Not all marketers do, which may explain why some in the media continue to point to mail as an outdated marketing method.

The best-in-class marketers know better, and have integrated direct mail as an important component of their marketing mix.   Short-sighted marketers treat the marketing mix as a zero-sum game: in order for one channel to thrive (email, social media, print), the others must wither.  In our experience, the best and most effective marketing campaigns coordinate the messaging across marketing methods, in what has become the new marketing buzzword of the day: omnichannel.   Whatever you call it, picking the right tool for the right job will always make sense.

Just make sure you have a full toolbox.