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Print is not as dead as some think

I recently received several printed pieces in the mail that I actually opened and read. The purpose of any communication is to resonate with its intended audience, which is hopefully the senders’ target audience.

The first successful promotion sent via “snail mail” to my home was the brochure for the American Ballet Theatre. The incredible photography, as could be expected, is of¬†dancers in amazing costumes in the act of various ballet moves. The colors, quality of the paper and overall design is excellent, content is easy to peruse with just the right calls to action. While not a season ticket holder, I was inspired to call a friend and see if we could arrange a day at the ballet.

The second piece of mail I recall is the Spring 2017 Saachi Art Catalog. Saachiart.com is an online art dealer/curator. As both an artist and a collector I am on the site often. I get regular emails from them, which I typically open, but I was pleasantly surprised to get a printed catalog of something I’m actually interested in. It’s designed beautifully and the content is interesting and inspiring. The cost of ink, paper and mailing is not lost on me. The online version is here.

One of my favorite pieces of recent mail was a thank you note from the auto mechanic that fixed my daughter’s car because of an unfortunate breakdown. Although this garage is strategically placed across the street from the high school, I had never considered using them. Convenient to where her car was and highly recommended, I asked if they could help. Not only did they fix the car at a very reasonable price, they taught her how to recognize if there is a problem AND they sent a very nice hand written thank you note telling me how much they appreciate my business. They have found a customer for life.

Before poo-pooing a good old-fashioned piece of printed mail, ask yourself if a version of it would resonate with your intended audience and grab some attention that you may not be getting from your online communications. Whether selling something specific, telling a story about your brand or taking the time to say thank you, a nice piece of mail can be a welcome relief to those whose attention you are trying to capture.