Direct mail is doomed

If you didn’t get your Mother’s Day card out on time this year, it may cost you. Yes, it’s true, stamp prices are up to 41 cents effective on Monday. I know what you’re thinking. Who cares? It’s only a 2 cent increase.

You and I might not care when it comes to sending important mail. You can be sure that 2 cents isn’t going to stand in the way of my mom getting her Mother’s Day card.

But 2 cents is a huge hit to the direct mail industry. This means it costs more to send you advertisements in the mail that you don’t want. Which is good for you and me.

According to my grandfather, there used to be a time when getting the mail was actually the high point of a person’s day. People looked forward to walking to the post office, dialing in the combination to their box eagerly anticipating the contents inside, which was exclusively letters from friends and family – no junk mail.

Today, I find going to the mailbox painful. I can’t wait for the day when all my bills are delivered electronically so there will finally be no reason for me to check the mail ever again. Sometimes I almost feel stupid going to the mailbox. Like today for example. I went to the mailbox and found it stuffed from top to bottom with crap. I walk over to the community-provided trashcan and begin to throw each letter, flyer, and postcard in the trash one at a time, making sure that I’m not missing anything of value. When I’m done, I have no mail left in my hands. I have effectively wasted 2 minutes of my day moving trash from one box to another!

Did you know that:

  • Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail
  • 250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail
  • Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year

Junk MailIf increasing postage rates doesn’t stop direct mail, consumer behavior will. In my own experience, I just don’t pay attention to junk mail any more. And by the looks of my community trash can, neither does anyone else.

If everybody hates direct mail so much and it doesn’t work effectively as an advertising medium, then why do advertisers still do it? Quite frankly, because there’s no alternative…yet.

As eNeighbors continues to grow our national network of neighborhoods, we will become the first hyper-local network from which advertisers can contextually and geographically target their message.

This is a huge win for advertisers and consumers. Local advertisers will finally have a way to follow consumers online, and consumers can expect unobtrusive and highly relevant adverts that actually help them. For example, coupons to your neighborhood restaurant accompanied with restaurant ratings and reviews provided by your neighbors. Looking for a plumber? Find out who your neighbors use.

Until then, here’s to no more junk mail, and a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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