Bring back the lowly postcard!

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It’s more intrusive than an unexpected house guest and more irritating than a car alarm that won’t shut off! I’m talking about internet spam… you know, all those unwanted messages from someone in Nigeria, begging you for money or the myriad of offers guaranteeing to enlarge. . . well, you know!

Yes, today internet spam has become one of the most-hated things in our lives. And, in spite of my filters and blockers, some still gets through and I’m forever hitting the delete key. In fact AOL, alone, recently told the Washington Post it blocks more than 780 million spams daily and it can’t get them all. That’s 100 million more messages than it actually delivers! Spam now accounts for a reported 30% of all email and it’s growing rapidly. The result is electronic marketing has some serious problems today. Similarly, studies indicate consumers are increasingly rejecting what they view as intrusive Internet advertising techniques.

Now I’m not suggesting there aren’t good uses for electronic marketing. There are. For example, every dealer should have a good Website. But the highly touted e-newsletters and e-mails aren’t necessarily getting the message to the customers. That’s why there’s a business migration back to good old, reliable direct mail. And what’s the best read direct mail piece today? A postcard! Coincidentally, it’s also the cheapest printed promotional piece you can produce.

Let’s face it - no one throws away a postcard without at least looking at both sides. Moreover, everyone still takes the regular mail seriously. It’s still compelling. We wait for the mail to arrive. We complain if it’s late. When there’s no delivery on Holidays, we feel like something’s missing! When we get home, the first thing we still do is go through the mail. Even at the office, we usually stop whatever we’re doing when the mail arrives. Admit it or not, mail is still a priority in our lives. Therefore, it remains a viable ad tool for us.

So at a time when we’re all competing harder than ever to get even the simplest of messages across to customers and prospects, it’s a great time to fall back and consider using the simple, inexpensive and compelling postcard.

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