It’s funny how things we once pegged for dead seem to find their way back into mainstream. Like a cat with nine lives, items from previous decades are rising from the ashes and making their way to the forefront of pop culture. Millennials are grooving to vinyl again, teenagers are walking around snapping Polaroids, and John Lennon’s sunglasses are the hottest thing in fashion. Everywhere you look there is a back to basics approach. Does this only apply to pop culture? Or in this digital world can this apply to business?
I’m glad you asked, because that’s the reason I sit down in front of my computer to bring you some cold hard truth. Fact is, advertising is going back to basics. What does this mean? Are we going to see “Where’s the beef?” spots and 30-minute TV infomercials again? Does it mean your computer screen will be flooded with popups once more? No, both of these predictions miss the mark. In fact, to see what I am talking about, you will have to look up from your monitor, stand up, and head out the door. That’s right! I am talking about regular, direct mail.
Direct mail is back. That stuff that gets delivered six days a week, the same form of advertising that used to make your heart jump for joy in your youth is making a comeback in the B2B sales realm. Your tech guys might ask, “We have email and it works all right so why do we need direct mail?” Well Mr. IT Guru, your company likely does have email. I’ll even make the prediction some employees have more than one email address. However, if you are like 99% percent of Americans you will agree that email, and furthermore digital communication in general, has become tired. I personally can attest that if I don’t recognize the sender, or your subject line reads, “Dear Sir or Madam,” you are getting
thrown in the trash quicker than an “Office Space” TPS report, (as I said we are bringing things back). In fact, with a house list, e-mails only generate a .01% response rate as compared to direct mail’s 3.7%, (according to a direct marketing association survey). With more companies having in-house tech support devoted to reducing spam, increasing firewall security, and limiting means of digital contact, electronic communication is not only becoming blasé , but it’s also becoming a royal pain in the uh …neck.
What is the driving force behind direct mail dusting off the cobwebs and getting back into circulation? Many in the sales realm attribute it to building meaningful relationships again. When asked why he supports direct mail, Scott Langohr, Business Development Manager at Synergy Computer Solutions, stated, “I get hundreds of emails from prospects and companies every week. After a while it all becomes white noise.” Scott continues, “When someone takes the time to type something out and send me a hard copy, it’s attention getting, much harder to look past, and it’s a nice personal touch.” Recent survey results seem to speak to Scott’s point. That same DMA survey showed direct mail to be up to 30 times more effective than email marketing with over 50% of respondents saying they prefer direct mail to email.
So what’s the overall message here? I think it’s clear that some if not all IT companies have lost that personal touch. Yes, we are all involved in the same space. We often work within or sell similar services built on even more similar platforms but we no longer communicate like we used to. Too often we utilize what we create in our day-to-day jobs to communicate, sell, advertise and broker deals. The driving force behind business is personal communication no matter what line of work you are in. Direct mail allows us to step out from behind the computer screen, to reach out with a more personal touch, and show that the person or entity on the receiving end is worth more to us than a few swift keystrokes.
Synergy is committed to restoring the personal touch into IT business. That is why we will be reaching out with our new direct mail campaign. We understand that your business and IT resources are important to you and that makes them important to us. We will be sending personalized letters to our prospective clients with the goal of arranging face-to-face meetings and doing our part to show we value you as a customer, and that you mean more to us than an email. Putting the personal touch back in IT? WE DO THAT.