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The Wow Factor

Once they touch your letter, you have just increased the likelihood that your target is going to read your letter. Now how it looks on the inside, the design, color, etc. all come into play. You have their attention. Increase your chances of getting your letter past a “gatekeeper” by adding a little wow to your message. And wow does not have to be ground-breaking. Wow can be as simple as honing a meaningful message that is short, to the point and relevant to your audience — with no grammar and spelling mistakes.

When you send a physical letter, the receiver knows that somebody had to spend money to buy the paper, create the piece, mail it, etc. Remember the saying about getting what you pay for? Free equals not much value, which is the value many people ascribe to electronic mail. Paper mail has trustworthiness because it costs money to create it. It almost always is identified with a physical return address, in the least, a postmark with the city of origin. There is an inherent lack of trust of email because its point of origin cannot be verified. Email can be sent in an instant and deleted just as quickly, or even more quickly, than the time it took to create the email.

Traditional postal mail is here to stay, through the next half-century at least. Movie cinemas and live theatres did not go away after televisions appeared in every American home (some closed, but new mega-cinemas have shown up in their place). Traditional mail definitely has value to add for today’s American, even though electronic mail is the wave of the future.

For the professional direct marketing world, both media are equally important. A survey by the Direct Marketing Association reported that electronic marketing communications have surpassed traditional direct mail with 79% of surveyed marketers employing electronic tactics while approximately 75% of them use postal direct mail. Yet in the same report, titled “The Integrated Marketing Media Mix”, surveyors reported that traditional offline media still accounts for a greater share of campaign revenue — 29% versus 21.6% of revenue generated by electronic methods. So while electronic marketing is growing in prevalence, it has yet to surpass traditional marketing in terms of total revenue (ROT was not reviewed in this analysis).

For businesses and individuals who want to grab someone’s attention, sending a letter or card in the mail is a great way to cut through the clutter and get noticed, especially if what you are mailing is of high quality and has something meaningful to say.

Read Part 1



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