March 13

Paper Direct Mail is Not Dead

Lead Generation


Jim Logan tells us why Paper Direct Mail is Not Dead.  Jim also shares ideas on how to leverage direct mail and combine it with other lead generation modalities to capture a higher response rate. 

You don’t need to spend a ton of money on direct mail to reach top executives.  A simple, well written letter (hand addressed) in a #10 envelope can be just as powerful as flashy packaging or expensive 3-dimensional mailings.  What ever you do – do not execute a direct mail campaign like this creative lead generation blunder.

If you need a resource to help you get started with reaching executives with direct mail, here’s a decent book, The Power to Get In by Michael Boylan.  He explains step-by-step how to write executive access letters that leverage your contacts sphere of influence (most people can skip the first 4 chapters).

Check out, Lead Generation Via Direct Marketing is Coming Back, and read the section on how to prevent bad data from trashing your sales lead ROI. 

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Thank you for the reference to my post on direct mail. I consider it a compliment as it touches your area of expertise, lead generation.

    I believe you made an excellent point and a great recommendation in your post: direct mail doesn’t have to cost much be effective and The Power to Get In is a wonderful book to model a direct mail campaign to access decision makers in B2B and B2G sales.

    The campaigns I cited in the post were all done in house, using MS Publisher and either local printing or the services of Our cost to reach a targeted prospect is never over $.45. If you do your homework correctly and profile prospects accurately, it’s the greatest bargain in business.

    The B2G example was modeled on Michael Boylan’s technique to access executives and secure meetings. Although we’ve tweaked the formula a bit over the years, based on experience, the basis is clearly outlined in The Power to Get In. Simply, it works.

    Thanks Again!

  2. Paper Direct Mail is definitely not dead!
    Late finding this but very grateful for the resources.
    Thank you

  3. We’ve picked up on a story that direct mail is not dead. Well, that’s the business we’re in, so I guess we would say that. Social media marketing is what everyone is talking about these days, but there is still a place for the more ‘traditional’ paper direct mail. What you have to do these days is to make mailers more interesting as there’s so much competition with online methods of communication, but no way is it dead.

  4. I recently read (can’t remember where) that direct mail among young adults is more popular.

    Young people are so use to the internet and advertising via click ads, email, those great pop-out ads that suddenly appear on a page your viewing – so use to it that they/we can tune it out (same with TV and Radio).

    We don’t notice them just click the X to close it, change the channel or station. We automatically delete emails that are selling stuff.

    However young people enjoy getting mail and especially colorful and creative pieces. The tangible aspect is what is appealing to young people, less detachment from it, fun to open and look at.

    I know this is an old post, but glad I found it… Thanks!

  5. I also saw a recent post about stats showing direct mail to teens at about 58% compared to social media and email. Along with being young enough not to know better (to toss it in the circular file) they also have more time to focus on something with a singular attraction- no other distractions competing for their time. The issue for us marketers is to find newer, better ways to make the direct mail piece an attraction to get results from adults- the ones with money!

  6. The world of direct mail is far from dead, there are alot of older generations who still prefer the old paper based methods.

  7. Good points. Direct mail is still here to stay. Another thing though, small businesses may consider hiring direct mail companies to take care of large volume mailing services for them. The added efficiency may be well-worth the money.

  8. I agree! Everyone still has that “mail moment” right?? Where they come home and sit there and go through the mail. There is a lot more email in our in box then paper mail and the paper mail has a great chance of getting looked at multiple times if it gets placed to the side.

  9. Absolutely true. One thing I always tell my clients is that they should consider ‘profiling’ their existing customer database to extract some unique demographics that they might be unaware of.

  10. Often times a hand-written letter is much more effective than a flashy mailer. Colorful, printed mailers are great for large-scale jobs, but a hand-written and addressed envelope is eye catching and powerful. Most people would hesitate to throw away a hand-written letter without reading it, regardless of its source.

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