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Q. Isn't Direct Mail just Junk Mail?
I've always heard that Direct Mail is just junk mail. Nobody reads that stuff. Doesn't it all just get thrown in the trash?

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A. Marketing expert, Joe Gracia, responds:

This is just another marketing myth that has been accepted as fact by thousands of misinformed business owners.

Direct Mail is actually one of the most powerful Marketing Vehicles at a business owner's disposal.

One of the reasons that Direct Mail has gotten this 'junk mail' reputation is because of its very power.

It is so visible and intrusive, you can't ignore it.

  • You see it.
  • You touch it.
  • You open it.
  • You read some of it.
  • You save some of it.
  • You respond to some of it.
  • You throw most of it away.
MOST MARKETING MESSAGES ARE THROWN AWAY

The truth is you mentally throw most of all marketing messages away, because you have no interest in them. You just aren't aware of throwing the others away.

Marketing is about 'giving people what they want.'

If you are watching TV, and a commercial comes on for a pool service, and you have absolutely no interest in a pool service, then you mentally throw that marketing message away. You have no use for it.

If you see a billboard with an ad for the pool service, you mentally throw it away.

If you hear a radio spot for the pool service, you mentally throw it away.

You've thrown the message away every time you've been exposed to it -- but you're not aware of throwing it away because it didn't 'involve you' doing anything.

DIRECT MAIL INVOLVES YOU

Now let's say you receive a Direct Mail post card for the pool service. Of course, since you don't have any interest in a pool service, you are going to throw this message away too.

But this time you are 'involved.' You have seen it, touched it, etc. and had to physically throw it away.

You take the same action on all marketing messages you have no interest in -- you throw them away.

Since there are so many TV commercials, radio spots, newspaper ads, billboards, etc. that promote products and services that we have no interest in, why don't we call them Junk TV, Junk Radio, Junk Newspaper, Junk Billboards, etc.?

Because we can easily 'ignore' all of the messages we have been exposed to from those vehicles that we have no interest in -- but we can't ignore Direct Mail.

In fact, most of the marketing messages in the other media are invisible to us. That's how we protect ourselves from sensory overload. They're there but we just don't see them.

That's not true with Direct Mail.

DIRECT MAIL GIVES YOU SOMETHING YOU CAN KEEP

Here's why Direct Mail is so powerful.

When you see a TV commercial or hear a radio spot for something you are interested in, you have to 'remember' what you saw or heard. There is nothing in your hand to help you remember.

But when you receive a direct mail promotion for something that interests you, you have information in your hand. Information that you can read over and over. Information you can save to review later. Information that you can act on now, later today, or even later in the year.

You don't have to 'remember' anything. Direct Mail has entered your household or office and it will stay there until you take some action on it.

No other marketing vehicle has that power.



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