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    10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2009 9:35 PM by KatsVoice

    Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?

    Iwrite Pioneer
      I am sitting in the Clampitt Paper Creative Center in Dallas, Texas. It is a beautiful center designed for creatives to come, sit and work and be inspired. It is run by a Clampitt Paper, a local paper company. A person can stop by and get samples of different papers for letter head, business cards and direct mail and marketing pieces - it is a great way to sell paper to a very specialized market.

      Anyway, as I am sitting here working on some projects - it hit me: "I am not sure how effective direct mail is anymore." Depending on who you ask direct mail is either striving or dying.

      I am not looking for an alternative to direct mail. So please don't start selling me your internet services, car wraps, voice broadcasting, or any of the myriad of solutions people try to peddle anytime someone asks a question about a certain medium. The question is simple:

      Do you read direct mail?

      If yes, why? What makes you read it?

      If no, why not? What is it that keeps you from reading it?

      I'm curious about what works and what does not work - that's all.

      Thanks in advance for your input.

      Iwrite
        • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
          sdanil Scout
          I may not be the typical consumer...as I am extremely selective when making any purchases. FYI...When I shopped for my home I looked at every track in town as well as 358 resales before choosing my personal residence...the seller was a widower and the home had been on the market for almost six months with the listing about to expire in 6 days....I do the same for my clients

          I toss junk mail routinely...i hate junk mail..it wastes trees and isn't worth the paper it's printed on...if i want it...i know where to find it...I don't like being sold...from every which angle...I dislike sites that claim to be rich in content yet they are mere sales tools for advertisers. I call it like I see it. I am a promoter of most things. see my profile
          • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            I read direct mail if:
            (1) it is addressed to me with the correct name and title (as opposed to some derivative I used that ended up on a mailing list), and
            (2) it is sent as a postcard or self-mailer brochure (so I can see what is it instantly, without opening anything), or is sent in the form of a marketing piece that includes something of potential/perceived value, such as a free CD, booklet, etc. (almost anything that's bulk mailed in a regular envelope will be shredded without opening).
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
                sdanil Scout
                The purpose of a direct mail piece is to prospect for new customers...many direct mailers are addressed to inidividuals of a particular income that have expressed desires for particular items. Demographics of your prospects are key...Lighthouse, if you never open a mailer because it is enclosed...wow. I have..they're pretty and expensive for the advertiser. I say if they spent this much to get me to find out about them, the least I can do is open it and take a look.

                Since I've peaked your curiosity no doubt Yes, I worked at a magazine briefly in NYC. Talk about a glamour job. Fun and nice perks too. Magazine inserts are a pretty cool way to reach a huge audience with minimal costs. What's your take on this? I love glossy magazines.
                  • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
                    Lighthouse24 Ranger

                    What the . . . ? Your first post says:

                    I toss junk mail routinely...i hate junk mail..it wastes trees and isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

                    Your second post says:

                    I say if they spent this much to get me to find out about them, the least I can do is open it and take a look.

                     


                    Are two different people posting under the username sdanil?

                    (I was answering Iwrite's question about what I do and why. I didn't suggest that it should be SOP for anyone else.)
                • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
                  puzzleman Tracker
                  Iwrite, I also look at postcards. The message needs to be quick, easy to read, to the point and point me toward more information (phone number or website(preferred)). It also receives my attention first as I decide whether I am interested right away. Direct mail in envelopes gets put aside for after I get through the rest of the important mail. I look at the envelope first to decide if I am opening it or throwing it away intact.

                  Jim
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                  • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this
                    Iwrite Pioneer
                    This is why I don't post as much as I used to. It gets so frustrating to look back at what this forum was and what it has become.

                    Everyone chill for a moment. I asked this question to get some insight and understanding, and maybe start a real dialogue about direct mail.  I think it is a great tool for any business when used properly. I wanted to hear what others thought. I agree that this has gotten off subject.

                    Sdanil, yes I do direct mail, but I am expensive by this forum standards because I know my value. That is why I do not solicit clients from here.
                      • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this
                        artforart Wayfarer
                        *Iwrite: It looks like you have hit a nerve. I myself would like to see basic statistics on corporations still doing business on paper, the term sign on the dotted line still applies and still holds up in court, then why has the general business community gone to electronic devices as their sole communication? My daughter told me she does not wear a watch because her time is recorded on her communications device. I can see that, I carry one myself, but I also wear a watch. It is not because I am out dated, or un-camp, but it has a practical use for me. Letters have long time been my only form of active communication with business clients, however, since 9/11 and the postal scare in DC, people seem to have lost security confidence in receiving unsolicited mail, and rightly so; but for how long? I would personally rather receive a business proposal on a letterhead, signed, sealed and delivered, so that I know that person, corporation, agency, because I am holding that same peice of paper that they have signed. You can tell allot about a written form of communication, some you junk, some you answer, but the point is that new technology is fantastic, as far as it goes. The paper and pin will remain, and I hope for allot more, than just signing on the dotted line. To date however, I use emails and cell phone for greater than 99% of my business. It seems more cost effective and faster than postal service, but, I have been thinking of reestablishing written communications in my business, and may. I still wear my watch to keep track of time, maybe I am missing clients who do not look for me on-line. artforart *
                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this
                            Iwrite Pioneer
                            I asked myself the same thing as I sat at the paper company. I talked to a couple of their paper reps and they told me that things are going okay.

                            I think communicating through print sends a great message. People love the look and feel of great printed pieces, just like people are still buying upscale watches as more of a fashion statement. Someone actually commented on the watch that the new President is wearing, it was nice.

                            Companies are still communicating through print because people are still reading it - it just has to be interesting and communicate a real message.
                        • Re: Nobody reads anymore. So what are you doing reading this?
                          KatsVoice Newbie
                          Hello, IWrite.

                          I love questions like this, because it's something that I have conflicting views on...but love talking about. I have always had a fascination that Direct Mail and targeted marketing. I even subscribe to TARGET Magazine where Direct Mail IS the discussion. Direct Mail is not dead...In my opinion.

                          Do you read direct mail? YES...some. I NEVER read political pieces, Sweepstakes or Prize Notifications. I am also not interested in another WOW...Car Liquidation Sale!!

                          If yes, why? What makes you read it? That's a little complicated. I am interested in reading it mostly because I love the touchy feely quality and have a genuine interest in "what's new" . I have more interest in Local mail or mail from companies I do business with or know. Aside from that, I look at it from the marketing side of things making mental notes of really great marketing...and the multitudes of poorly done pieces...like plain flyers...blech! I send out marketing pieces and always look for new ideas on what interest me as well as insight on what I throw away and why

                          This and glossy postcards turn me off completely and I will not read them. I LOVE to see more pieces made from recycled paper...or is at minimum recyclable. I also like the "convertible pieces" that make it interesting to open and read.

                          I'm curious about what works and what does not work - that's all. I don't like regular #10 envelopes. I love the see through or (as stated before) convertable packaging. Advertising methods that work for me would include exclusive coupons, grand opening events....special events, or newsworthy messages. "Factory Authorized Sales", "Holiday Sales" or anything gimmicky is not worth my attention. However, when my electric company has a new furnace available, or my hair dresser has a "student day", or my grocery store started carrying a specific product, it absolutely does get my attention.

                          I hope this helps!