Tuesday, April 21, 2009

pretty paper. pretty effective.

Yes, the bulk of my work interaction as an independent business and marketing writer is conducted via email. And yes, I'm plugged into FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and this blog. I do my best to keep up with the daily evolution of this e-universe (or is it un-E-verse?).

But at heart, I'm really still just a girl who likes paper.

I love the feel of it between by thumb and fingers. I like to flip through it, turn it over, fold and unfold it. I like to highlight and write on it, line it up, binder-clip and staple it.

I print on both sides of it and recycle it like a madwoman. But I shudder whenever others speak of going paperless or *gasp!* a paperless world. That's no dream of mine, I tell you. The girl can't help it.

So I was dutifully delighted by a recent Marketing Minute e-newsletter I received from marketing consultant and author Marcia Yudkin, touting the benefits of keeping real mail in your business' marketing mix. She begins:

More and more companies and organizations have gone email only in communicating with actual and potential customers. It's earth-friendly, easier logistically and considerably cheaper than sending stuff by mail.

Yet Yudkin goes on to say that smart marketers should continue to include some mailings in their marketing plans, for four key reasons:

1. You don't want to put all your communications into one e-basket. If a customer changes e-addresses without notifying you or opts out to reduce their inbox influx, then you've lost them forever.

2. You don't want your communications to be dismissed without even a look-see. Many people filter or file their email without ever opening it. But most people will at least glance at both sides of a postcard before it hits the recycle bin.

3. You want your communications to stand out. Email volume is rising while mail volume is falling — it's easy to guess in which medium you're more likely to shine.

4. You want the ability to target your communications. Using postal list services to mail to a specifically defined audience is smart. Using email to do it is spam.

Additionally, from my perspective, there's much to be said for the power of a handwritten note to a client — be it one of gratitude, happy congratulations, simple base-touching or condolence. Real mail always seems to be appreciated.

So, at the risk of sounding terribly un-green (the day before Earth Day, too) — and French, t'boot — I say, vive la papier!!

1 comment:

Susan K. Morrow said...

I'm with you! I'm an office supply junkie--I can barely get out of Office Depot for under $100--all paper, pens, clips, markers, sticky notes... Oh, I live and breathe sticky notes!

Anyway, my new marketing assistant, Shelby Main, www.themainassistant.com, hand-makes custom cards for her clients and sends them out to her clients' clients. It's sort of like scrap-booking to her--she makes some beautiful things!

Vive la papier, indeed!