A Love Letter

Love Letter 3

I was wrong. I neglected my love. Eventually, I even pretended I never knew her.

But I’m here to publicly apologize. You see, I rediscovered her last week, and I want her back — if she’ll have me.

Who is my jilted love?

She was one of my earliest marketing loves: she’s direct mail.

25 years ago, at my old agency, I helped create countless direct mail packages. Every word was meticulously chosen. Every envelope was painstakingly designed. Every package element was rigorously scrutinized.

But in the 1990′s, I rushed to be “digital” and apply my skills to new communications forms — and that metamorphosis has continued ever since. As the CEO of the Direct Marketing Association a couple of years ago, I was careful about the amount of time I/we spent on postal issues, lest anyone think the Association was antiquated and not balancing the past with the future.

But then it happened.

My old love unexpectedly returned to my life.

Recently, with no writers on our agency team available, I decided to personally develop a series of direct mail packages for a client. It was sheer joy. A labor of love. And I sincerely hope more clients – or new clients — will ask me to do it.

But Why Should You Care?

In a world where marketing decisions are made in nanoseconds… where tweets are often best prepared instantly in response to breaking news… and where social media posts can lose traction in a matter of minutes, it’s helpful to thoughtfully create communications that can unquestionably drive sustained results — and can also have huge applicability for other channels.

Further, in a world where we’re bombarded with so much messaging — on email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, etc. — and where so many of our online ads are never seen by a single human — it’s great to participate in one of today’s media options that can break through the noise.

Furthermore, let’s remember that direct mail is a medium in which you know exactly who you’re reaching, and you have the chance to get the attention of virtually everyone you want to talk to — unlike virtually every other communication alternative.

While so many people rush to partake in marketing’s latest and greatest (as do I), it’s got to be cool to go old school… to meaningfully consider exactly how you want to talk to each customer (with the help of digital printing)… and lastly find love again.

So here I am admitting that I love letters — and OEs, lift notes, Johnson boxes, paper stocks, et al. And I love having quality time to consider precisely how I want to communicate to other human beings.

Newer marketing techniques have occasionally sent my heart atwitter (pun intended), but I’m overjoyed to come home to my mail.



P.S. If you want to see a labor of love in action, and need some help with direct mail (or any newfangled marketing activity), please write!