Should You Go Paperless?
Short answer: Probably not.
A survey study conducted by marketing firm Epsilon of over 2,000 U.S consumers, showed that 50% of American consumers pay more attention to their mail, and 60% said that they “enjoy checking the mail box for postal mail.”
The key to a successful marketing campaign is to hold the attention of your prospect long enough for you to sell your product or service.
The more expensive or complicated your product or service the more “face time” you’re going to need with your prospect.
So your marketing message will have to make an immediate and meaningful connection. That way, she’ll reward you with her time and attention.
This is the beauty of a well-crafted direct mail piece, newsletter, or newspaper ad…it can give you more time with your prospect.
Imagine sending your prospect a personally addressed direct mail piece that is so captivating and content rich that they read it over a few times; versus an email that gets deleted within seconds.
The down side to direct marketing is that it’s expensive when compared to online marketing.
An average response rate for a direct mail piece is 1-3% . Compare this to a 20% open rate on email, with an average click through rate of maybe 10% (see citation). Well, it’s easy to see why marketers and business owners are enamored with email marketing.
Social media and email marketing have expanded your ability to reach more customers. But online clutter and the short attention span of the average person, makes it difficult to reach your customers with any meaningful frequency.
The solution is to augment your online marketing with some form of direct mail. Even if it’s just a keep-in-touch letter, a brochure, or a birthday card announcing a special discount (I love those).
In fact, your prospect will be more likely to open your emails after receiving a meaningful piece of direct mail from you, and visa versa.
Using multiple marketing channels to reach your ideal customer or client will go a long way to keeping your brand and products top-of-mind.
Is it ever appropriate to go paperless? It really depends on your market, and how expensive and complicated your product or service.
For example: If you are marketing to a “green” consumer, then you may offend them by using too much paper.
The Organic Consumers Association does the majority of their marketing and advocacy online. However, members do receive a yearly newsletter, printed on recycled paper. Along with this newsletter is a lift note from the publisher highlighting their accomplishments and asking for donations.
On the other hand, content marketing agency copyblogger.com doesn’t do any direct-mail. However, since their primary target market is coaching aspiring writers and bloggers, and their product isn’t complicated or expensive, then this makes sense.
The key to success in marketing and in life is balance.
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