I’ve been meaning to write about this since before the New Year but I had to get the ‘ol scanner out to pull together these images of some direct mail I’ve received recently. The bottom line is that some direct mail still works. Here are 3 examples:
- Jack Hayhow sent me his book, The Wisdom of the Flying Pig. I think this is my actual first ‘gift’ as a blogger! I’ve got a couple books on my nightstand right now to finish – but I’m looking forward to digging into this one. It was really neat to get a handwritten note from Jack along with the book. That Jack took the time to write me and send the book means a lot already!
- CVS Pharmacy sent me a card for the holidays thanking me for my patronage. It was even personally signed by each of the staff! My CVS is fantastic. It really reminds me a lot of the corner store we used to visit growing up in the boonies out in Newtown Connecticut (That store was named Crossroads… they used to let the kids pick up beer and walk it home to our parents with a phone call… man am I old!). If CVS had fruit, I probably wouldn’t go grocery shopping at all! CVS proves that you can be a huge chain and still treat people like your neighbor.
- Wikimedia sent me a card with a note thanking me for my donation to Wikipedia last year. I often take my Paypal funds and give them back to plugin developers and websites that ask for donations – if their software or service is useful. I use Wikipedia a lot on this blog so you’ll be happy to know that part of the advertising proceeds of the site are rolled back to other sites. (The remainder is needed to pay for my son’s college education!).
It’s interesting in this day and age that folks still recognize what the ‘human’ touch means. Jack could have sent me his book through Amazon, and CVS and Wikimedia could have just as easily sent me an email thanking me. I’m a huge advocate of email… I love the fact that it can be personalized and automated. This took a little bit more effort and definitely cost a little more. That tells me that these folks thought I was important enough to their business that it was worth investing in me. That’s a strong message, isn’t it?
That’s the type of direct mail that works. The other thousands of pieces of direct mail I get here aren’t worth mentioning. I’ve told clients before that the amount of time you have to get someone’s attention with direct mail is the time it takes for them to walk from their mailbox to their garbage can. I’ve not changed my mind on that at all. Sending a handwritten package or thank-you card definitely gets my attention!