The Magic Touch Of Physical Direct Mail

Steven Sheck

Steven Sheck President and Founder

Brief info:

• Owner and President of Infinite Media, comprising Mailinglists.com, MailingListsXPRESS, and MailingListsXPRESS/UK (see below)
• Overall, 40 years of experience working in the direct marketing industry
• Considered an industry expert in business to business direct marketing
• Has worked with the D&B file for over 25 years.
• In-depth knowledge of all D&B list data products
• Implements in-house processing for all orders
• Partner in the list company Complete Mailing Lists

“Give us a call. You can count on me and everyone at Mailinglists.com for fresh, entrepreneurial enthusiasm plus disciplined Fortune 500 experience to power your next direct marketing campaign.”

This year, MailingListsXPRESS expanded their relationship with Dun & Bradstreet, acquiring most of the customer assets of D&B’s UK reseller division. Mailinglistsxpress/UK has been operational since June 1, 2018 with an office in Windsor, a suburb of London. Read more about this latest chapter in our growth.

Steven Sheck founded Infinite Media in 1993 after working for many years at major direct marketing firms. He has managed direct marketing campaigns for a number of A-list clients. Among them are OfficeMax, Nextel, AT&T, General Electric, American Express, and Pitney Bowes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about living in what is normally a very social, transactional society. The frustration and even depression brought about by interpersonal and sensory deprivation is widespread. For all the benefits of e-commerce, being forced to shop online has its shortcomings. This is not to suggest that people should defy common sense health guidelines and venture forth without care. The ability to sustain households, deliver education, and conduct business online has blunted some of COVID’s effects on society and the economy. However, the experience of physical interaction with things we need or want can’t be fully replaced virtually. Which brings us to physical direct mail.

Direct Mail Makes New Friends

For awhile, it was assumed that physical direct mail was doomed. The battle against email and online marketing was unwinnable from the standpoint of volume and cost. Lost in this equation was the fact that for every piece of physical mail opened, far more emails languished in recipient inboxes (if they got that far). As millions endure relative isolation, the realization has emerged that the value of physical mail lies in its personal, tangible impact. Recent advances in production enhancements allow deeper personalization and sensory richness. Direct mail can actually be the portal to digital experiences. Younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly attracted to things that are real. Physical items such as brochures, postcards and samples are welcome. Reasons run from a feeling of substance, sense of belonging, better privacy, the utility of promotional offers, and the option for online interaction with physical mail. These are all attributes that lessen the difficulty of life during a pandemic.

Close The Digital/Physical Divide

The potential of limitless online discovery and shopping opportunities to overcome the limitations imposed by COVID is apparent. But, what if the ability to convert curiosity into sales could be enhanced via a physical direct mail experience?

A few examples of co-mingling online and physical direct mail:

  • Move event marketing – and events – virtual but send physical, tactile invitations
  • Mail catalogs with digital response mechanisms including purls and QR codes
  • Send personalized, printed newsletters with scannable links to online resources
  • Start loyalty programs, sending samples with registration or as awards incentives

Reports from around the world describe how tangible interactions are appreciated now more than ever. A case can be made for expanding online marketing and fulfillment using tangible marketing experiences. As long as COVID is with us, physical, interpersonal contact will be limited with good reason. In its place, tactile, sensory experiences that bridge the virtual and the physical will provide a respite from the current situation. They can be consumables or business items and media presentations. Thoughtfully and strategically executed, direct mail marketing techniques can be profitably merged into Life As We Now Know It.