If you’re not a history buff, you may not be familiar with the Maginot Line. After being battered by Germany during the First World War, and nervous about a second invasion, France decided to protect itself by building an amazing “wall” of defensive artillery along the Franco-German border. They put all their faith in this technological marvel, knowing that Germany could not plow through it. And the Germans couldn’t, so they simply went around it on their trip to Paris during WWII.
Many marketers approach media the same way. They decide to place all their eggs in that proverbial basket, which can be effective as long as the basket isn’t flawed or dropped. Facing higher postage costs and the many advantages of email and other newer marketing options, many marketers raced away from direct mail.
Their regard of that marketing mainstay as obsolete may be understandable, but it was also foolish. Recent research from the Direct Marketing Association bears that out. For example, about 54 percent of recipients actually take the time to review postcards that are mailed to them. And about 45 percent of households with an annual income of between $35,000 and $100,000 purchased items from mailed catalogs.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic the DMA uncovered was that the age group that’s most likely to respond to a direct mail piece is the 22 to 24-year-olds!
So the next time you’re thinking about focusing your marketing energy on fewer channels, think about the Maginot Line, and keep your options open.