Do you see the post office going out of business in your lifetime?  Neither do I.  In fact, snail-mail may be even more effective because it is now unique.

In an impersonal arms-length electronic world, business has lost some of its personal touch.  We hurry and scurry through our days dashing off a fast email.  Has business forgotten that customers are people?  It is a known fact that people do more business with people they know, like and trust.  How can business reconnect with the customer and re-establish the personal relationship?  Snail-mail.  A handwritten note, card, postcard or letter is more personal than email.

Re-connect with your key customers

Do you still look forward to the daily arrival of the mail?  So do your customers.  What if they opened the mail to discover a personalized greeting card, postcard, or letter from you?

How dramatically would your business increase if you selected 5 customers every week and sent a personalized note of appreciation to each one?  Writing one or two lines in each card could take you ten minutes.  Those ten minutes could expand into thousands of dollars of extra business.  That personal greeting card or thank you card has a much higher probability of being kept and remembered than a two line email.  Happy customers are loyal customers.  That loyalty can translate to tremendous business over the long term business relationship.

Luckily for businesses, there are a lot of commercial printers online today who can make this not only possible but also very convenient. PrintPlace.com is one of the online printers that print postcards, flyers and other pieces you get to mail directly to your customers. In addition to direct mail services, they are one of the few who free ready-to-use designs that can even speed up your preparations for a direct snail mail marketing campaign. Other printing companies have neat galleries of postcard templates and flyer designs categorized by industry. As I was saying, convenient.

Is Snail-mail too expensive to be effective?

Has snail-mail become too expensive for the small business owner?  No.  With the forever stamp, you even have control over the cost of mailing a letter.  Kern Lewis’s article in Forbes reminds us that snail-mail is only too expensive if it does not work.  If you are like most successful entrepreneurs, you are asking, “How do I make it work?  Better yet, how do I make it work even better than other marketing methods?”

  • Focus on your desired customer.  Know who they are and how you can solve problems for them.  Would you like more profit and less stress?  So would they.
  • Make them an offer that is very hard to refuse.  When you are solving a “need to fix” problem instead of a “nice to fix” problem with an attractive offer, you will close the deal.
  • Spend your marketing dollars wisely.  Test, track and nurture every lead.  Your list is pure gold.  Mail to each list multiple times before you assign a value to it.
  • Be creative.  Make the offer attractive, easy to find and easy to take action to buy.

Pay attention to the same detail you do with any marketing campaign: market focus, offer, creativity and follow up.  Snail-mail has the potential to be far more cost effective than online marketing and much easier to track.

Advantages of snail-mail

Snail-mail results are easy to track.  Use a special headline, marketing code, different phone number, different color paper, different offer, different message, different design, or simply ask them how they heard of you.  TV, radio and social media are much more difficult to track.

Snail-mail does not require permission.  You can zero in on your target market.  Online can be more of a scatter-gun approach rather than specific.

Mail is still an integral part of marketing a company’s products and services; constructing a well-designed campaign is paramount.

How can I make snail-mail even more effective? 

  • Keep a “swipe file” of marketing pieces which caught your eye.  Determine how you can tweak that idea to work for your business.
  • Study and create effective headlines.  Catch the Attention immediately.
  • Personalize the letter, card or mailer by inserting a piece of candy, coin or other token to increase the curiosity.  “Chunky mail” creates interest.
  • Proof, proof and re-proof.  Avoid sending out an error.
  • Include a coupon, promotion, or discount with a deadline.
  • Use keywords like “no-obligation, free, now, call today, limited-time offer.”

In a nutshell, snail-mail offers the personal touch and tangibility not found in online communication.  Sending a personalized greeting card or thank you card intensifies the personal contact. Snail-mail is easier to track and is so much fun to apply your creativity to with the implementation of “chunky” mail.  In addition to the reasons cited above, just look at the amount of mail you get. It is obvious: snail-mail is not just still alive but thriving.