Snail Mail Isn’t Dead – Postman Delivers Invitation to Social Media Success Summit 2011

[tweetmeme]Imagine my surprise when I went through my regular mail and there it was — an actual postcard invitation to the Social Media Success Summit 2011. A hard copy invitation to an online social media event? Isn’t that a non sequitur?

I’ve written before that letter writing isn’t dead and this is another example. OK, it was a postcard, but you get the point. Of course, I’m receiving emails almost daily from the Summit speakers and Michael Stelzner, founder of the Social Media Examiner, and the primary force behind this summit and others he’s organized in the past. I attended the very first online Social Media Summit in 2009 and it was very enlightening.

I wrote to Mike to ask why he was using this delivery channel but he didn’t respond. Probably too busy. But I can take an educated guess.

Email Box is Stuffed

Our email boxes are overflowing with invitations to attend webinars, buy ebooks, check out the latest MeetUp, LinkedIn invitations and requests to Friend someone on Facebook and all sorts of other promotions. The social media chatter is becoming overwhelming. (If you received this post by email, thank you for opening and reading it).

So companies are actually going back to the future and contacting their target audiences by — regular mail. A new strategy! I don’t know about you, but my mailbox is pretty sparse these days. A catalog or two. But a letter or postcard? That really stands out from the crowd.

And I think that’s why the Social Media Success Summit 2011 organizers turned to snail mail. They want to get your attention. They got mine.

I sure hope Mike appreciates the free PR I’m giving him.

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Comments

  1. Hi Jeannette,

    You are right about the mailbox especially when compared to your inbox. Regardless of what some may say many marketing tactics are not dead, they just need to be used at the right time with the right people.

    Would be interesting to know why they chose this tactic.

  2. So true, Jeannette. I received a (large) postcard from Steve Harrison of Reporter Connection for a free publicity seminar in my area. It certainly got my attention. For locations and exact times I’ve been directed to a website to register on line. I’ve also received personalized birthday cards, so I guess snail mail really is making a comeback.

  3. I did an invitation for a non-profit years ago. The design for the invite and the recycled-style envelope was very clean and friendly, except the envelope had no brands, addresses or contact info on it. It was a rounding success. The mystery behind the envelope really made people want to open and see what was inside. Attendance for their event was up 30% from the last two years. Just like fashion, print media will be back in style.

  4. Event organizers use direct mail because it works.

    In contrast to e-mail, snail mail at least gets handled by the recipient, and it might even get opened. If it is opened, the recipient will read at least a part of it. (Odds are, that will include the mighty P.S.–the single most-read part of any direct-mail piece.) The snail mail might get saved, or carried with you in your briefcase, purse or pocket. It might get passed around to others. It can reside on your refrigerator or desk as a reminder. If left lying around it might serve as a conversation piece about the organization that sent it when others happen to notice it.

    E-mails do not stand out in your Inbox. But snail mail, if sent to your (external) workplace, stands out on your desk when the mail-room assistant delivers it.

    For all these reasons, I still send occasional pitches (for non-topical, “evergreen” features) via snail mail. Journalists get so few pitches this way, nowadays, that they open it out of nostalgia as much as for curiosity’s sake.

    And snail mail gets talked about, as you’re doing.

  5. I am designing a letter and two faxes for a client today. They do no Social Media at all. I also talked them into a post card that I need to work on. They know that faxing in particular is so counter intuitive that it works. Most of my mail at home is junk that gets sorted over the recycling bin so make the effort to distinguish your snail mail.

    Rob

  6. Definitely Jeannette using normal mail has it’s advantages. Sent out a mailing last year to CEO and over 40% of them replied. If I had sent e-mails the response would have been much lower.

    For some reasons human beings value something more if they can hold it in their hands. So no matter how digital we get snail mail will most likely be more appreciated.