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Is Direct Mail Dead? Three Times Direct Mail Really Works, Even in a Digital World

All eyes are on the internet when it comes to marketing in the modern age, and you may find yourself running in circles trying to keep up with it all. If you think a direct mail campaign is hopelessly outdated among all those Google ads and weekly blog posts, think again. Smart mailers can complement your digital strategy, particularly in certain situations and markets. Here are three times when direct mail can be a real boon to your business.


1. You Want to Hang With the Seniors

Baby Boomers may have taken over Facebook by posting pictures of their grandkids, but smartphone and computer use drops off dramatically among people in their 70s and 80s. If your product or service is geared towards older Americans — or if you’re just looking to target this segment of your market for a business with broad appeal — direct mail is a great way to go. You’ll boost your odds of having your ad seen, and you may even be able to go a little heavier on the text with an audience that likes to take their time to read — just don’t make the print too small.

2. You Want to Test Your Work

Ever wonder which logo or font is better for your brand? A/B testing isn’t just for email and digital ads, and you don’t need any special tech skills to get an idea of which version of your mailer did better. You can run the world’s most basic A/B test by sending version A of your flyer out one week and version B out the next week to a different group. See which one gets a better response, and use that element next time in all your advertising — including your digital campaign.

3. You Have Killer Graphic Design

Direct mailers have one major advantage over email: The recipient will hold it in her hand for at least a few critical seconds before tossing it aside — there’s no incinerating junk mailbox at someone’s house. If you’ve got an amazing logo paired with great use of color and design in your brand, your mailer could make use of that extra bit of time to charm your reader. People are programmed to notice mail that looks different and special, so consider unusual envelopes and eye-catching photos that will get you noticed.

Direct mail is a proven strategy that works well as part of a comprehensive marketing plan. When you know your audience and test your work, you’re sure to get the results you’re looking for — even if you have to stamp an envelope to do it.

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.