Tuesday, November 07, 2023
I’ve been dragged out of my comfortable, cynical cave to talk to you about something that most of you probably think went the way of the dodo: direct mail and catalogs.
We live in a world where your smartphone has more computing power than the systems used to send a man to the moon. But guess what? That doesn’t render direct mail and catalogs extinct.
Far from it.
The advantage Direct mail and catalogs have is all the junk you’ve been receiving online that does not exist in the direct mail world. Having less junk is an advantage. Open your email inbox. How many unopened emails do you have? Hundreds? Thousands?
Now, let me ask you this: how much physical mail did you receive today? Five pieces? Ten, tops?
In a digital world where everyone’s fighting for a pixel of your screen, direct mail and catalogs bask in the luxury of minimal competition. It’s like a backdoor to your prospects.
Your mailbox isn't a never-ending scroll of doom. It's a curated collection of a few select items, making each piece more likely to get noticed. And in a world where attention is the hardest currency to come by, direct mail is sitting on a gold mine. And NOBODY does it, outside of the top guys.
Advantage number two: Tangibility. In days of bling blings, and iphones, and whatever else that exists, there's a growing novelty – and value – in things you can actually touch.
A catalog is a physical object; it occupies space in your world, not just a fleeting blip on your screen. You can't minimize a catalog to open another tab. You can’t swipe it away with an impatient finger. It lingers in your living space, an ever-present invitation to engage. The only thing you’re worried about most of the time is it being thrown in the trash, so you gotta make it nice enough to NOT be thrown in the trash.
And there has to be something said about the tactile experience – flipping through pages has a certain nostalgia, a sensory appeal that a digital ad can never replicate.
This tangibility creates a deeper, more memorable connection with the brand, something that marketers are desperately clawing for in the saturated digital markets.
Now if you’re going to use them, here’s how:
Targeting Your Audience:
Creating the Mail Piece:
Production & Mailing:
Tracking & Analysis:
Catalog Design & Content Creation:
Follow-Up & Analysis:
Both direct mail and catalogs involve a combination of strategic planning, creative design, and meticulous execution. Their success lies not just in reaching an audience, but in resonating with them through relevant, tangible, and often personalized content. As such, they remain potent tools in a marketer's arsenal, capable of creating a lasting impression that digital channels often struggle to match.