A colleague of mine in the PR business just picked up a client well-known and highly regarded in the direct mail business.
Since I'm editor of the monthly publication of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and my colleague is putting an ad together for my sort of readers, he asked me:
• What are the things that keep direct mailers awake at night?
• What challenges has the economy posed for the industry?
• Is anything changing in the world of premium fulfillment or personalized acknowledgements?
Here’s what I told my friend.
What keeps them awake at night?
• missed schedules
• bad/poorly performing mailing lists
• low ROI
• missing insertions
• rising paper costs
• losing their jobs
What has the economy done to them?
• made them afraid to mail and afraid to fail
• prompted them to pull back out of fear
• raised concerns that their customers/clients think direct mail no longer performs
• promoted the perception that direct mail is "old fashioned"
• turned competitive arguments vicious ("direct mail is dead," "direct mail hurts the environment," "digital is the new and only way to go," etc.)
What is current behavior in relationship to premiums and personalized CRM?
• notion that one-time premium snatchers don't bring return orders, so finding the sweet spot is paramount.
• personalized acknowledgements never go out of style, but they do cost money; thus, concern that the "niceties" can be dispensed with in response to dollar concerns.
• an increasing shift to social media, which is cheaper and can stand-in for personalized contact.
What would YOU add to this list?
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