To post or not to post…

It’s fifty years since the first UK postcode was introduced in 1959!

A nice little factoid and one I’ll certainly file away under “useful gems for the pub quiz”… but so what, surely they’ve been replaced by that ubiquitous item of personal identity, the email address?

I’m not so sure. There’s still a place for direct mail. Yes, emails are probably cheaper than direct mail, particularly when sent in serious volume, but not that much. Yes, measurement of certain metrics is easier (try measuring the open rate of a postcard), but surely the best measurement is that of the number of people responding to a campaign?

Emails can be designed with company values and branding in mind, but being digital media, I can’t help thinking something is lost. Perhaps that’s why email marketing is FAR more effective as a method of retaining, informing and communicating with existing customers than new prospects. It’s just too damn easy to hit “delete” if you don’t know who the email is from, no matter how targeted it purports to be.

Of course the beauty of direct mail is that it’s tangible. When I open a business letter, the senders choice of paper type, paper quality, typeface, printing quality, 1st vs 2nd class stamp, and all those other touchy-feely criteria tell me something about who’s written to me. Often it tells me something positive about them, other times it’s a subtle warning. The point is, they’ve communicated with me before I’ve even read what they’ve sent me!

So has direct mail had its day? Is email the new king? Or is it horses-for-courses?

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2019-02-01T10:53:19+00:00