In 2004 my husband and I acquired a dusty old printing and packaging store just outside of Washington D.C.
I had recently changed careers as a software tester with the Hubble Telescope to graphic design. And I had big dreams of expanding the print shop by adding eye-popping design services, the likes of which no eye had ever seen before.
Desktop publishing was just starting to come on the scene, encroaching on print shops everywhere. Thankfully, the packaging and shipping portion of the business helped bring in some extra cash. FedEx was especially aggressive in incentivizing us to use them for all our shipping, which we happily obliged. They grew to become a significant part of our revenue.
So when I found out a FedEx Office (their retail arm) was opening right up the road from us, my nooby, unsophisticated business mind freaked out.
“How could they betray us like that?” I whined to my husband. It was a crisis of epic proportions in my mind. I even went as far as to call our FedEx rep, “How could you do this to us? Where is the loyalty??”
It was really very pathetic. I’ll stop here before I embarrass myself further.
Today, something like that wouldn’t even be a blip on our radar. I’ve come to expect the unexpected and the necessity of change and re-invention. I’m quite comfortable with the discomfort and can barrel through obstacles even if I'm not sure what awaits on the other side. Sometimes, it’s even fun.
Other times, I have to peel my face off the floor and keep moving forward.
In 2018, the post office released the biggest hike in postage rates that I’ve ever known for first class stamped mail— $0.50 to $0.55.
My noob self would reacted with the same “woe is me” attitude as I anticipated a decrease in my direct mail services revenue, as well as an increase in my own marketing costs.
My un-noob self now sees this price increase as a gift to direct mail marketers everywhere.
It declutters the mailboxes as others bow out, choosing instead to invest their dollars in the overcrowded online marketing space.
That means if you’re doing your newsletters, postcards, and sales letters right, your mailing will be a welcome delight to folks, especially amongst the bills and dull mailings from cable companies and take out restaurants.
Physical mail is still one of the best ways to capture your market’s attention. You’re taking the time to print and mail something to them which has higher perceived value. And now you’re competing in less-crowded space than online marketing.
If you haven’t been doing direct mail, or doing it minimally, here’s an opportunity to do something about and get real results.
It’s a referral postcard campaign that helped Ben Glass quadruple his revenues in one practice area in less than 24 months. There is nothing fancy or sexy about it. It uses proven marketing principles, and it’s brain-dead easy, requiring minimal work from you.
Just click the button below for more information.