There’s nothing quite like walking to the mailbox and finding a handwritten note or letter waiting for you. But will our grandchildren have that experience? We polled a panel of professionals to get their predictions on the future of snail mail. Read on to learn what they had to say.
Polly Kay, Senior Marketing Manager at English Blinds.
Depends on your goal
Whether or not snail mail is obsolete depends on your goal or intention in using or integrating it into your campaign or collateral. It sometimes still has value, in particular when targeting older demographics who might not be internet users at all, who might not be proficient at using tech, or who are suspicious of it.
Such groups have different types of life experiences and references than younger people, and they often still assign unconscious value and gravitas to snail mail above electronic communications, whether warranted or not. However, when it comes to junk mail – circulars, unaddressed mail, or whatever term you use to describe generic scattershot mail and flyers, these have had their day.
Sending snail mail is very costly compared to most other ad targeting methods, both on and offline, so before using such an approach, you need to have a reasonable expectation of it paying off. This means doing plenty of research into your demographic targets and their preferences.
Addressed mail and that which is also different from the norm, such as mail containing a gift like a pen or a keyring rather than a single slip of paper or a bill, can be highly effective. This is because it draws the attention before the addressee even looks at it. The feel of mail that holds something other than papers is different, weightier, and catches the attention and draws the eye. This results in such mail being opened, and even if the [offer] isn’t immediately taken, recipients are unlikely to throw the solid item away. They can either make use of it (or think they can) or they simply won’t want to be wasteful, which means that branded promotional collateral has now made its way into your prospect’s home where it may remain for some time.
Is this something your audience might act on, and does this sound like the consumer behavior you’d expect your demographic targets to display upon receipt of your snail mail? If the research says yes, you might find value in this otherwise potentially outdated method of communication yet.
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