Paper over Digital, A Continuing Trend

If any of you are old enough to have teenagers (or to have raised teenagers at some point in your life), or if you were a teenager once, the one thing you’ll agree on is that trends come and go. Some of them are awful – like goth and grunge metal and saying ‘like’ every other word. And some of them are fantastic – like bringing back vinyl records and a resurrection of manners and Jeep trucks. Okay, trends hit everyone differently.

But one thing we’ve found to be universal is the trend of people preferring paper over digital, and that’s especially critical when it comes to direct marketing and postcard campaigns. Over the last 7-10 years, paper has been trending up, while digital (in most respects) has fallen. But why? What turns a reader toward paper? According to a Temple University study, there are 6 Compelling Factors Pushing Paper Past Email:

  1. Stimulation – Scrolling an email is much different than holding a postcard, consuming its content, turning it over in hopes of seeing more information, and then ultimately slapping it on your fridge or cork board to refer to later. You can get pulled in by the design, the weight and the size of a postcard unlike an email – even if you print it!
  2. Review Time – 3 to 5 seconds might not seem like an eternity when thinking about the time it takes someone to evaluate your postcard. But when compared to the amount of time a prospect spends deciding whether or not to open your blind email, it’s a win every time!
  3. Engagement – Technically, an email can direct you super-fast to a website for next steps. But there’s risk there. Something as simple as a QR code, or even a simple URL listing on a postcard can do wonders for engagement; motivating the target to move toward that next steps, or Call-to-Action.
  4. Memory Speed – This is interesting. The study found there to be an easier and faster recall of the advertisement (source and content) when presented in paper versus a digital option.
  5. Attention – Paging through the contents of your mailbox requires more devoted brain power than scanning a list of emails you’ve received that day. Skimming email subject lines is in many ways a task, a chore. You aren’t necessarily looking for what you want to keep, but more often what you can delete to make your In Box more manageable.
  6. Skepticism* – Okay, this one isn’t official in any way. I’ve listed this here because it’s something I experience when I get an email, and I’m assuming some of you do, as well. Postcard direct mail is much more readily accepted versus a potentially dangerous email in your inbox. Postcard direct mail doesn’t come with the threat of ransomware, and it can’t be used to hack into your system.

I’m sure someone might have considered blue jeans to be a short-lived trend when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were awarded the patent for them. Not only have they become ubiquitous across every level of society (who has NEVER worn a pair of jeans, right?), they occupy a rare space wherein trends happen within the jeans market, itself. Design changes, acceptance of variations on a theme push fashion boundaries, and their appeal grows around the world.

The same attraction to paper over digital is what is propelling the increased usage of, and reliance on, postcard direct mail as a fantastic vehicle for reaching prospects and clients, alike. There are countless ways paper positively impacts your ability to make a connection with a prospect. Changes in size, verbiage, colors, design, etc., mean that as the trend toward paper continues, there is an almost unlimited number of combinations you can utilize to grab that reader and pull them toward either being a lead or a brand-new sale!

Give Opportunity Knocks a call today. Our Success Coaches are standing by, ready to keep you on message, and absolutely on point. Let us help you create a postcard campaign with a timeless objective and a thoughtfully flexible approach.