If you’re hot for blogging and viral marketing — or any other narrow marketing channel — it’s easy to forget that many of the traditional methods are still thriving. It’s the old Nobody I know is still doing THAT mindset. Understandable, but often inaccurate.
Take Direct Mail marketing: postcards, sales letters, catalogs, magalogs, etc. Sure, it may be old fashioned, intrusive and environmentally uncool. It’s also thriving. No, make that BOOMING, according to a new study published in DM News, the industry trade journal.
As copywriter Bob Bly noted on his blog:
“If social media and other forms of electronic two-way communication are making traditional “dead tree” media obsolete, why hasn’t direct mail — perhaps the most intrusive of the paper-based marketing media — disappeared?
“According to the Winterberry Group, total U.S. direct mail spending in 2007 was $58.4 billion, an increase of 18.2% over the $49.4 billion spent in 2004.”
Since DM’s mantra is “test, test, test,” it’s safe to assume that the only reason that kind of loot is being spent is because it sells.
So why the perception that direct mail is dead and gone? Answer: Because so much of it is poorly done. Ugly design, lousy copywriting, wrong mailing list, etc. Like most things in life, DM is easy to do badly, and hard to do well.