We live in an era of marketing saturation. We are bombarded with advertising on television, radio, billboards, in our mailbox, online and via email. Two thirds of Americans said in a recent study that they want to reduce the amount of advertising in their lives. The highest approval rating for any law in the last 10 years is the Do Not Call Registry. Over 70% approve of the law, but a majority of the rest say it didn’t go far enough to stop telemarketers from invading their living room.
In the face of this onslaught of messages, consumer resistance and the predictions of pundits and doomsayers, the volume of direct mail has been steadily increasing. Smart marketers don’t continue to throw money into something that doesn’t work. Well managed campaigns have seen an increased response rate while all other media says we are over saturated. Postcards and brochure mailers remain amongst the most cost effective marketing available.
For many industries, the cost per customer acquisition for direct mail is lower than for cost per click advertising, which is generally considered to yield the highest ROI. Plus, direct mail doesn’t require a huge investment in an ecommerce website and a full time staff dedicated to the internet.
The reason for the continued success of direct mail in the face of so many other messages is the power of color images to convey complex emotions, circumstances, meaning and desire in a few seconds. In the time it takes for someone to sort through the mail, a good direct mail piece has already registered its message.
The purpose of the above 260 odd words of facts, assertions and opinions is to get enough trust from you, Dear Reader, so take this advice to heart. Great direct mail marketing starts with GREAT PICTURES.
Don’t rely on someone else to pick images for you. Don’t think you can find something that is “good enough” flipping through the stock photos on some royalty free picture site for a minute. Don’t settle for an image because it is cheap or already paid for. Don’t grab your photos of a Mexican beach and try to shoe horn your message where it doesn’t fit – while sneaking in a tax write off for your last vacation. If you want effective direct mail marketing, you have to start with a powerful photograph and tailor your message to fit it!
The cliché says a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s an average picture. A great picture can tell a whole story—in less time than it takes someone to toss it in the recycling.