Direct Mail is Dead, but Starbucks Loves You

On thing that never seems to amaze me is the amount of direct mail that I receive from hotels, destinations and industry events. They come in all shapes and sizes, tri-folds, 10-page brochures, postcards and everything in between.

Printing mailers does not work anymore and you end up wasting vast amounts of money, resources and time. Regardless of what statistic you read, no one reads direct mail anymore. These works of art end up in the recycle bin.

What happens to most pieces of direct mail is quite sad. These poor things make a journey of hundreds, if not thousands of miles. They make it all the way to an office in some far away land, they get sorted and then get dumped unceremoniously in the recycle bin where they get carted off to have a new life as a Starbucks coffee wrap.

We have a rule that those poor little critters do not even get distributed to the recipient anymore. They never get past the mail desk. I wonder if the poor little brochure knows that he is going to be saving my hand from a second-degree burn in a few short weeks.

Think about something. A Starbucks coffee wrap costs what? 3 cents maybe? ….Nope, they cost a lot more if you factor in what they were in their previous life.

What is now important is how people want their information (yes Virginia, they still want to hear from you), People want information in the way that that is most convenient for them. Some want to hear from you on Twitter, some through email, others through FaceBook and some will even find you through your website. Pick an online platform, someone is using it.

The one way that they don’t want to hear from you is through direct mail. Starbucks is happy, though, you are keeping them awash in coffee thingies.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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