A real letter – simple and direct marketing trumps clever every time

I got a letter today. It was exciting. Before you start to wonder just what kind of life I live, let me explain.

I grew up in a time when the US Post Office was not continually in bankruptcy. Letters were expressions of love and works of art.

Now, neither of these two missives were works of art. One was a quick note from a friend who’d meant to share the cost of a recent meal, and so had put a few bills in an envelope along with a post-it. That one really was kind of thrilling, because it had money in it! (The story of that wonderful letter is here.)

A Rural Letter Carrier from Fort Myers, Florida

A Rural Letter Carrier from Fort Myers, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it’s the other I want to tell you about. It wasn’t hand addressed, but – it wasn’t like all the other junk mail that gets tossed. It had labels, one slightly askew (that’s important). It had a real stamp. That’s also important.

It looked so personal, in this day of professional printing, that my assistant brought it to me unopened, figuring it was personal. Nice move, oh marketer.

It was from a software consultant. I am going to call him first thing next week.

I cannot stand getting unsolicited phone calls at work. Email? Good luck getting my attention with that!

But a letter, with a label that looked like someone applied it on his kitchen table – ah – a human being is here!

Forget clever. There are about a billion companies out there that will try to sell you their marketing techniques, all wrapped up in expensive clever and glitz. What you need, as a lean startup, is direct and sincere.

Trying to get someone’s attention? Try writing them a letter.

What experiences have you had with the good old fashioned post?

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About Marilyn Walker, Ph.D.

Marilyn Walker is Founder and Lead Consultant at Grow Your Org. She helps businesses plan and manage growth, with a specialty in technology.


  1. How does it get any better than this? - October 15, 2012

    […] PPS: Wondering about the other letter? I wrote that story down at Grow Your Org. If you do any marketing or trying to influence others, I suggest that you read it now. […]

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