Direct Mail Has Come Again

30 July 2016 | 0 Comment

In a recent article by Al Urbanski in DM News ( ) Harris Diamond, McCann CEO, told members of the mailing industry at the National Postal Forum there exists an “expanded territory” for direct mail and that this was “something we haven’t seen in years.” “Today’s media events are more complex than they were 100 years ago.  There are many more hurdles due to fragmentation,” he told the Nashville gathering.  “But in a world in which people are endlessly bombarded with electronic messages, direct mail is now the most welcome house guest.” Diamond backed up his assertion of direct mail’s enduring marketing value with study that found that the average American spends 25 minutes a day with mail, something he dubbed “The Mail Moment.” “You come home from work, the mail in one hand, the cell phone in your pocket, and you sit down to go through the mail.  It’s an important moment in people’s lives and one that presents great marketing opportunities,” There’s hardly a trend that doesn’t work to mail’s advantage.” The man who watches over a $10 billion a year in marketing spend then shared some creative principles for effective marketing campaigns:

  • 1. Go where customers are.  Try to see the world as customers see it and don’t be bound by traditional approaches.  “Look at Pope Francis.  He went out in street clothes at night to spend time with the homeless, took selfies with young people in crowds,” Diamond said by way of example.  “Now he wasn’t marketing, we know he was sincere, but these acts served to make sure the changes he was making were understood.”

  • 2. Maximize your media’s opportunities to engage with consumers.  Explore the many ways mail can engage with consumers that digital means can’t.  Diamond pointed to the Australian Air Force and a recruitment mailer it sent to engineering students.  It was a box that consisted of the parts of a radio, but no assembly instructions.  Future engineers who put it together anyway, turned it on, and tuned in to a dedicated station were offered commissions in the Air Force.

  • 3. Use new technologies to enhance engagement and brand value.  Diamond was bullish on the prospects for mail and augmented reality.  “It’s a case of digital and paper working together to enhance the experience,” he said.

  • 4. It’s all about reinventing the medium.  “Technology gives us so many opportunities to reach people, to require them to take action.  The time people spend in the mail moment is an enormous opportunity to use technology creatively.”

  • 5. Focus on your relationship with consumers in a digital age.  There are limits to how much information consumers want to give marketers.  “When we send material to people, we have to know they’re interested in it,” Diamond said. Marketing without direct mail is like a day without, well…the mail moment.  Take advantage of direct mail.



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