The Debate Goes On

Today, I offer a quick follow up to my last post on the Digital vs. Print Debate, using excerpts from a recent Wall Street Journal article by Teri Evans, who interviewed small business owners and marketing experts for her story, “Firms Hold Fast to Snail Mail Marketing.”[1] 

What she discovered: 

  • Some entrepreneurs who were quick to write off direct mail as too pricey or passé are finding it’s not so easy to dismiss.
  • Today’s successful campaigns shun the old-fashioned – and expensive — boiler-plate approach (purchasing lists and sending fliers or coupons to a mass audience) in favor of personalized mailings to a hand-picked list of current and prospective customers.
  • The idea is to send something that is more appealing than ‘junk’ mail and potentially more noticeable than an email message, to “offer a personal touch the larger firms may not be able to have,” according to Eric Anderson, professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of management.
  • Business owners are trying to figure out how to integrate their Web marketing efforts — email campaigns, banner ads, and social-networking sites—with direct mail.  According to Professor Anderson, “The introduction of new media has forced business owners to go back and revisit the whole playbook on what’s the best way to communicate with customers.”  

My conclusions: 

1) Use online, electronic marketing messages to complement your print direct mail effort.

2) Keep the messages highly targeted and personal, with a signature, if possible, on each piece.

What do you think?

[1] From The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2010

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