Isn’t Direct Mail Marketing Dead?

Isn’t Direct Mail Marketing Dead?

What’s up everyone!  Let’s dig into marketing strategies for a moment here for all you freelancers and small business owners.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no marketing expert, but I just learned a few things from a few people who are experts when I attended Modern Postcard’s  Direct Mail seminar.  The overall presentation was great.  I learned a lot about print promotion, direct mail, and overall marketing terminology I hadn’t thought of in years.    

For the most part, the overall student body at this 1 day workshop consisted of small business owners looking to improve their B2C transactions.  But me and my podcast co-host, Robert Huskey,  were the minority attendees who represented the creative freelancer.  Our goals are not to get shoppers into our store fronts and buy merchandise.  We simply want our work to hit the desks of more editors, directors and publishers.  This seminar opened my eyes to the power of direct mail, if done properly.

Now from my standpoint, the majority of photographers I have associated with predominantly use just 2 forms of marketing; email and social media.  That’s it.  Now of course, social media may spread over multiple platforms to make it feel like diversification is being implemented, but in reality how effective is that concept in gaining clients?  Ever feel like you’re just pandering to friends, family, and other creatives who have no intention of hiring you?  Yeah, me too.  Not saying social media is pointless, far from it.  It’s still the most powerful way to build your personal brand.  I’m simply questioning whether that alone is enough to get the client base you want, especially if you don’t really care about becoming an online influencer.  

One of the first stats that stood out to me at the seminar was that open rates for direct mail is near 100%.  What that means is that the person intended to see your campaign, likely will.  Think about that.  A direct mail piece will be looked at nearly 100% of the time.  Some material we’ve been conditioned to throw away automatically, like the local debt consolidators or carpet cleaner ads we toss in the trash without thinking twice.  But what about something that really grabs your attention?  What about an artistic promo, curated by a marketing team with the art of a skilled photographer?  Sounds like that may have a stronger impact than the generic coupon at Vitamin World, doesn’t it?  And before I go any further, I’ve ordered the free sample pack from Modern Postcard so I know what their products look like, and they’re pretty awesome.  They are high quality, wonderfully designed promos, offered in a number of unique templates like newsletters, square cards, and tri folds, just to name a few.  There’s something powerful about looking at printed photography, something that is noticeably more palpable than an email attachment or a link to a website.  The person you want to show your portfolio to is literally holding your work in their hands, and you have a near 100% chance of that happening through quality print promos and direct mailing.  Something to chew on.

By comparison, email open rates fall between 15-30%.  Now I have no idea how these stats are found, but use your imagination, it doesn’t sound that crazy.  Pretend you’ve just emailed your dream client, let’s say the art director for the coolest magazine you can think of.  That AD doesn’t receive the same amount of emails that you and I receive on our personal accounts.  We’re lucky if we receive 3-5 legitimate emails a day.  They may be getting well over 100, many of which hold more importance and urgency than your growing portfolio.  And if they don’t have any prior working relationship with you, your email may come across as “spam” like.  This got me thinking about all the prospectives I’ve sent cold emails to without a response.  I always thought to myself, I guess that person wasn’t interested.  But maybe, just maybe, they didn’t know who it was from and decided not to open it.

Now I won’t bore you with everything from this lecture, but if you’d like more insight on print promotion and direct mail marketing for your business, contact the folks at Modern Postcard for your free sample pack and pricing estimates.  Also, be sure to listen to our full experience by checking out The Media 1099 podcast for a full review on Modern Postcard’s marketing seminar.

MEDIA 1099
Click here to listen to our podcast episode on direct mail marketing

Thanks for reading and all the best in your marketing endeavors.  Follow us on twitter @media1099 for updates on our newest weekly podcast episodes.

Michael Der

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