Direct mail is here to stay

I’m not kidding. Direct mail will always have a role in marketing because of its story-telling power.

That’s because print is easier to read than a screen. And that makes it easier to understand.

I realise you’re on the screen right now.

And I’m making it easy for you to read.

Because you’re not really reading. You’re scanning.

The most engaging direct marketing campaigns are captivating tales. Goodness prevailing over evil. Control replacing chaos. Solutions to life-threatening challenges.

Recipients of direct mail can hold that letter or brochure in their hands and give themselves up to the power of the story.

Engrossed. They read every word.

You just can’t achieve that in a digital medium.

Print aids comprehension. That’s why students continue to purchase hardcopy textbooks instead of digital versions – because print makes it easier for them to learn.

And to persuade your audience (or teach students) your message must reach the impressionable land of long-term memory.

That’s not to say that digital channels don’t have a place in our marketing campaigns.

Social media has its place for brand building. You can build awareness, but not too many sales. Pretty much, it’s check and forget.

Email is good when you’re pitching to the converted. But most inboxes have become the quagmire of the over-subscribed or spammed. So you’ll only catch a quick glance before you’re swept out the door and into the trash.

Then there’s the direct mail package. Now we’re talking. If you successfully tease a curious reader to open your mail, you’ve at the very least made it to short-term memory.

The next critical step is to capture the reader’s attention with a high impact headline. And with professional, persuasive copy let the story unfold.

By this stage your prospect is sitting down. Absorbing your message. Pondering his or her role in the outcome. This deeper level of comprehension will be stored in long-term memory.

High comprehension leads to action. And if that’s your destination, direct mail is your vehicle.

Direct mail gives your marketing the sales advantage. Creative design, copy and understanding align to produce the sales or donations you seek.

I’m not saying digital is about to lose favour. I simply make the case that for deep and meaningful engagement, direct mail is the way to go.