Real Marketing – Regular Mail

It seems this is turning into a series, and why not. After all, though many of us are trying to make a certain amount of money online, our hopes being that it’s enough to work on, some of us who work for ourselves acknowledge that it’s not always the only way we can go, especially if we have a client audience that’s not quite savvy when it comes to being online.

by Chris Lott via Flickr

Let’s go retrospective first by looking at what I’ve talked about so far. I started by addressing the question of what is real marketing to begin with. Then I went into talking about phone calling, followed by Facebook and the reality that marketing overall is a slow process.

Now it’s time to talk about sending regular mail, and no matter how you look at it, this is one of the most expensive ways of trying to market yourself. Even if all you do it create a letter, put it in an envelope, buy stamps and send it out, it’s not cheap in the long run. Let’s look at why.

Statistics say that per 100 items mailed out, you have a 1% chance that someone will even look at it. After that you have a 16% chance of there being any action taken other than someone throwing it away. I don’t know about you but with numbers like that the odds of my getting much via regular mail don’t look so good.

Some people create flyers. Some people send their information out in one of those special postal envelopes to make things look more official. They probably get opened more often but for what it costs and that 16% chance of action that’s an expensive gamble if you ask me.

What else does it take? It takes time in writing a letter that gets your points across and yet stays under a page. Like almost anything else, people don’t have a lot of time to read long letters. So you want to try to get everything on one page. If you decide to attach a report of some kind to the letter later that’s okay; your first letter has to be one page.

It takes times in finding all the names and addresses of the people you want to send things to. If you’re lucky enough to have a directory at least that will speed things up a lot. In my case there’s a lot of internet research I have to do to find the right names, and sometimes I find that internet information is really only as good at the IT departments of the facilities I’m hoping to reach.

It takes time to print everything out. Actually, it takes me a lot of time printing envelopes because my printer hates envelopes so I have to hand feed them through one at a time; one of these days I’m buying a more expensive printer just for envelopes. Then it takes time to fold, stuff, lick and stamp everything.

Finally it’s all in the mail and you wait, but only so long. Truthfully, you have to try to contact the people you’ve written to within 3-5 days after you’ve sent the letter, and even then, based on the first statistic I mentioned above, most of them won’t even remember that they got a letter from you. And I’ve tried changing things up. I’ve gone with different colors of the envelopes from time to time. I don’t buy the standard stamp,instead going for whatever designer stamp they have at the time to hope catch the eye. The latest stamp I used commemorates the Chinese Lunar New Year; very colorful and shiny.

Truthfully, this is at the same time the most calming and the most frustrating marketing you can do. It’s calming because the process of putting the entire letter together, and then putting it in the mail, gives you a great sense of accomplishment. The anxiety begins the next day because you know the mail most probably isn’t going to be delivered by the next day. You figure that the mail might be there in two days but you really don’t want to call people the same day they get your advertisement unless they’re expecting it, and they probably aren’t expecting it.

Of course if you’re trying affiliate marketing or only marketing online this is a marketing process you’re not going to do. But if you have a product, even if you’re trying to market it online, or provide services, it’s something you might consider one day. Not to be the voice of negativity but don’t get your hopes up too much. Just hope that it at least opens up a line of communication if you then decide to contact that person another way.

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8 comments on “Real Marketing – Regular Mail

  • I like that you included this in your series. Nowadays with all of the modern technology, everything is at the tips of our fingers, and older forms of communication like snail mail often get forgotten. I think, depending on your business, snail mail can be very effective. Especially if you are running a business that is marketed towards an older audience. Anyways, I just discovered your blog and I love it! Thanks.

    • Mitch Mitchell says:

      Thanks Robert. I think if it’s targeted mail to an audience that may already know of you but may not have thought about you in awhile it can be very effective. I think if the market has no clue who you are or that you exist, it’s a lot harder, especially for businesses. Yet sometimes you still have to do it.

  • I think many companies are still using direct main and flyers, however I think this doesn’t really work well and it can be huge outcome, but on the other hand it can be successful if it is used for b2b purpose. Email newsletter works much better and it is faster, as well promo or new product can be announced at social networks.
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    • Mitch Mitchell says:

      Carl, it’s a horrible way to market unless you have a monster budget. It’s all about volume.

      • I agree and most companies with good common sense are not doing it. The usual use of brochures is to go straight in the bit after given to potential customer.

      • Mitch Mitchell says:

        Exactly. I mean, when I go to conferences I end up with lots of stuff that, once I get home, maybe I keep 2 or 3 items. Folks, including us, need to find ways to make us more memorable.

  • Nikolay Nikolov says:

    I have not used this kind of marketing, well actually when I think about it I have used it once, but back then I am not sure I knew what is marketing :D. But it looks to me like at least something to use for branding and for showing that you care for clients/users. Receiving an e-mail is one thing, but a nice and real letter that you can touch kind of seems good to me. But I would definitely not put a lot of text there. Maybe more images, some promotions or free stuff, some promo codes or stuff like that. Cool stuff. The colors and images will grab the attention, the promos will give value, and if the person is a customer already, we have good chance to benefit from this. For example a registered customer in an online store. He could be a good target. If course I am just sharing my thought, I have no experience. It has to be tested :).
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    • Mitch Mitchell says:

      Nikolay, it does offer a chance for some branding. However, when one is dealing with hospitals, it’s a culture that doesn’t deal well with alterations of the expected. If I were selling medical supplies and sent copies of the items that’s one thing. I deal in services; any of that other stuff would be thrown away immediately and I would lose all credibility. That’s why it’s a tough market to work with. But testing definitely has to occur.

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