The late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer had a strong, some might say stubborn vision of the type of products he thought would serve as vehicles for communication, entertainment, work and pretty much anything one can imagine. He believed in the power of design as well as function and this helped create the Apple “brand” which has made the company one of the largest in the world and perhaps the most profitable.
Jobs proved that as much as people want the speed and convenience of the digital world, they are at the same time drawn to aesthetics. Given the choice between the dry and functional and the interesting and functional, more often than not the latter will win.
Therein lies a lesson for direct marketers. Obviously, there is no longer a contest between the digital world and the world of paper and ink. Digital is here to stay and those of us in the envelope and print industry need to adjust. We already do by using our websites to promote our companies and sell our products and services. We also use e mail to communicate with our prospects and customers and to transmit files and proofs. There’s no question that these methods increase our productivity and our reach the same as for any other business.
Yet when we turn on our computers each day and try to negotiate through the barrage of messages we receive, we realize that the speed and immediacy of e mail can be an annoyance and hence a detriment to a proper sales pitch. That isn’t to say that e mail marketing has no place. Properly used, it can be an important part of a marketing program. I find it most useful in keeping in touch with people that you’ve already contacted and have some interest in your products.
But for developing new customers, nothing beats a direct mail piece that someone can actually hold and read. It makes an impression that goes beyond just another e mail to delete. Yes, I understand that “junk mail” can be an annoyance to some folks. However, today people get far less regular mail than e mail so there’s probably a greater chance of it being opened than in the past. Also, Elite Quality Envelope produces some really beautifully designed and printed envelopes which can’t help but get at least a passing glance.
So, whether you are a small shop or managing marketing for a large company, channel your inner Steve Jobs! Use your creativity and design an arresting direct mail package that comes in a colorfully printed envelope. When you send that follow up e mail, I bet your prospect will remember!