We call physical mail ‘snail mail’ because it’s so slow compared to email. That’s too bad. The term suggests something negative about physical mail. But the reality is that people still enjoy getting snail mail.
Yes, you read that correctly. Feel free to stop reading this post long enough to clean up the coffee you just spit all over your desk. When you come back, we’ll discuss some U.S. Postal Service (USPS) statistics demonstrating that people really are into the snail mail thing.
Snail Mail Is Cool
We are big fans of direct mail marketing and advertising because it’s what we do. But let’s go beyond our own desire to make a profit and talk about the people who actually get our marketing materials in their mailboxes. After all, they are the ones who make this work.
USPS data proves that snail mail is cool. Check it out:
- 98% of consumers check their physical mailboxes every day
- 77% sort through their mail as soon as they get it
- 55% say they look forward to checking their mail
- 56% say that getting snail mail is a ‘real pleasure’
- 67% say that snail mail is more personal than online communication.
What more do you need to prove that snail mail is cool? Let’s face it, in the digital era, there really isn’t a need for snail mail anymore. We have the ability to transmit any kind of document electronically. Yet snail mail and the USPS continue chugging along.
Make the Bills Electronic
Even though snail mail is cool, there are some types of mail that people don’t really appreciate. Bills immediately come to mind. In my circle of friends, bills are known as ‘hate mail’. Who looks forward to getting insurance bills every six months? Who looks forward to opening the utility bill and seeing how much it costs to heat or cool the house?
Here’s what we say: make the bills electronic. In fact, set up automatic bill pay so you don’t even have to look at your bills except to make sure that what you paid matches what you were charged. Let all the hate mail stay in the digital arena.
Let us use snail mail to send people stuff they really want. Let’s fill mailboxes with stuff that actually makes people smile – coupons for your restaurant or the announcement of your new medical practice. Use snail mail to announce that upcoming festival or encourage people to attend next month’s special trade-in event down at the car dealership.
Send It and They Will Read It
People may not be willing to admit it, but they get a kick out of sorting through their physical mail. Unlike email, which can really become annoying after you open the hundredth piece, physical mail is refreshing. Send it and they will read it.
It turns out you can make it more exciting by just using your imagination. What do you get with email? You get digital text on a digital screen. Snail mail gives you so much more. You get exciting graphics. You get eye-popping colors. You get postcards, brochures, and letter packages in all shapes and sizes. Different paper textures.
I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I remember as a kid waiting for the mail to arrive every day. Even into my early adult years, coming home from work and seeing what was in the magic mailbox was thrilling.
Don’t believe the myth that people ignore snail mail. The data proves otherwise. People really do appreciate getting physical mail. Take advantage of that by giving them great stuff. Snail mail is cool. Now it’s time for you to join the cool crowd.