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Resurgence of Direct Mail?

by on ‎11-02-2009 05:50 AM (5,265 Views)

Direct mail is always debated. Is it still effective? Is e-mail better? Now, this article talks about how member communities have become more popular than e-mail in the online world. Direct mail used to be the tactic of choice. We were bombarded with piles of letters, postcards, and self-mailers. Then came e-mail and along with it, more junk e-mails clogging up our inboxes than relevant ones. Now, during this Social Media revolution, we have dozens of options to find what we seek: online communities, social media networks, blogs, web sites etc. Along with smaller marketing budgets, direct marketing messages have been diverted to the electronic channels. Is it time for Direct Mail 2.0: the smarter, more-targeted next generation of direct mail?


In the midst of electronic overload, I find myself opening up what little mail I still get at work: a few magazines,  an opportunity to get a new white paper or eBook. My personal "open rate" for direct mail is much higher these days than it is for e-mail. So is it time to go out, rent lists and kill lots of trees. Probably not, even if marketing budgets could afford them. The point here is to keep a well-balanced mix of targeted, more personal communications like direct mail and e-mail as well as finding customers and prospects online.


The recent launch of ACT! 2010 incorporated all of these tactics. Direct mail and e-mails are sent to customers and existing prospects (no more rented lists here!). There were also search engine/pay-per-click campaigns. And, for the first time, the ACT! launch was heavily promoted on our social media pages including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Plaxo, and YouTube as well as on the ACT! Community. We'll be doing even more with the social media sites as that's where all the buzz is right now, but given where we are these days with electronic messages, it might be time to take

another look at direct mail.