The Failure Of Junk Mail
How much do you spend on junk mail each month?

What Really Reaches People?

I went out to my letterbox recently, I happen to live in a complex of apartments, and I removed a wad of commercial advertising, I then walked over to the re-cycling bin and lifted the lid and there were a huge collection of the same commercial ‘junk’ mail outs.

Now, some of these mail items were glossy, and looked as if they would have costed a fair price to produce. Imagine, each day in your city/town a huge quantity of commercial mail is delivered, some of it by the postie these days!

I guess the bean counters in the various companies must be across how much this tidal mass of junk mail is costing their organizations; it must add up over a fiscal year?

This got me thinking, does anyone actually think this stuff through? The marketing budgets for significant businesses must be feeling this load, what percentage of junk mail actually results in a sale, how effective are direct mail campaigns these days?

There’s a chap on LinkedIn who reckons snail mail, direct mail, junk mail is still pretty effective; mind you he runs a direct mail training course, so he would say that? Obviously there is a belief that junk mail still works to some extent, but a lot of people still spend 10’s of thousands on T.V advertising, so how right are these people?

I use an Ad-Blocker on my PC, it does not cost me anything, and it provides me with an almost advertising free browsing experience. I like this, and it seems millions of other people prefer this too, but junk mail T.V advertising, Radio ads, are they really as effective as they used to be prior to the digital age?

If the numbers are to be trusted, I think there is a major shift in the advertising world. Television advertising is nowhere near as effective these days. The commercial free-to-air channels are just not being watched as much. Netflix, YouTube, and other video streaming products has changed viewing behavior across Australia.

Many of us still listen to the radio, but the audiences are shrinking, Podcasts and streamed music are replacing the old radio networks and their advertising revenue is drying up.

Local newspapers still get consumed, I like to have a look ours every once in a while, but I don’t look up the classifieds on these very much either.

Occasionally I might pickup the good old Yellow Pages, but I can tell you that isn’t very often! 

So, I think it makes very good sense to review how you go about promoting yourself, and your bizniz, where do a lot of people direct their attention these days? Social media, Podcasts, Websites are a very good bet.

Additionally, of course, doing what is called ‘Content Marketing’ makes very good sense. Running a Blog on your own company website still has benefits, as long as you produce content which people are going to want to view.

Videos, humor, are also excellent. It seems these days more and more you need to become your own Media Company. The attention of people is moving away from the broadcast media – T.V, Radio, Printed – and digital media has become today’s ‘Mass Media’.

Of course, it makes superb sense to have a mix of promotional efforts, you can’t rely on just one source. Flyers, and radio ads can be fantastic for some types of people. But we have to be practical, and realistic, my mother always said that and it is annoyingly true. I think focusing our main effort on digital media has to make sense.

What do you think, do you reckon all that junk mail is paying its way for the majority of the business which invests in it, or are they flushing their money down the toilet?