With the US Postal Service posting billion dollar losses and the decreasing interest I feel when checking my mailbox, I have recently wondered if they should just bag the whole thing. No more daily delivery to every address. No more post offices in tiny little town and all over big cities. Just run it more like FedEx or UPS where you deliver the stuff that’s profitable. Seems pretty obvious right?
That led me on to the further thought, hasn’t someone had this thought already? Some young Congressman or Congresswoman looking for a big spending cut or a presidential candidate looking for a big idea to pitch. Of course, there are a couple major reasons the postal service is safe for now:
- Inertia – Getting the government to change something that’s been around for hundreds of years is harder than locating a prototype iPhone 5
- Jobs – Yep, all those “good” jobs with good benefits and good pensions. No politician wants that on their record
- Companies still use it!
Look at that last point again. And I’m not focusing on your local grocery store circular or the various other forms of physical “spam” that gets put in every mailbox on a postal worker’s route. I’m talking about targeted mailings with messaging relevant to the recipient (sounds eerily like online marketing when you say it like that, doesn’t it?)
Google’s Direct Mail Piece I Received
Below is a piece of mail I received from Bluehost and Google (obviously a co-marketing deal):
Official Google branding – Check!
Customized to include my city name throughout the piece (DKI anyone?) – Check!
$100 AdWords code (offer and CTA all-in-one) – Check!
I hear a lot of internet marketers poo-poo traditional marketing methods. They’ll mention billboards and TV commercials and how you can’t measure the returns. Direct mail is so archaic they don’t even grace it with their attention. However, I submit that when done correctly, direct mail still has the potential to deliver new customers at an attractive ROI.
Don’t believe me? Well, Google’s doing it and last time I checked they were making $2.79 BILLION in the 2nd quarter of 2012.