Shocking Truths That Will Change Your Mind!
It’s no wonder that you may think that print is dead – since newspapers globally have suffered from declining readership, advertisers migrated en masse to social media and generation X and Y love being digitally connected vs. reading print.
As a result, since 2001 in the USA, newspapers have laid off over a fifth of their journalists. Because of limited budgets, they can no longer do the extensive investigative reporting and fact-checking that the public has come to rely on.
Today anyone with a smartphone and internet connection is a news reporter … which has opened the door to “Alternative Truth” and Fake-News.
This credibility void in the news has created a vacuum for media companies to fill with advertorials so “truthful” looking that the average consumer doesn’t realize they are watching a commercial vs. a credible press release.
Print Carries More Weight
Well, all is not lost. In fact, Gen X and Y are coming back to print.
According to the Huffington Post this demographic is not abandoning social media. But they are questioning the legitimacy and credibility of what they read online. The result is people see it online, but are turning to print as being more trustworthy and credible.
On a side note, older professionals still prefer print. This is not just because of the credibility aspect, but for the tactile feel, the emotional connection of touch and feel of the medium.
Ok so I know what you’re thinking, “Michael – what does any of this have to do with me and how I advertise using print in my real estate practice?“
Good question – and here’s where it gets really interesting!
This aspect of the emotional connection to print is also true, more so in fact, with direct mail!
Yes, the unsung heroes are postcards, newsletters and letters but the key here is Direct Mail.
According to the UK Royal Mail in a report entitled The Private Life of Mail, it was found that the upswing in the usage of direct mail was attributed to that emotional connection people experience when they receive mail. “Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”
Further to that UK study, 57% of the respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.
Not to be outdone, the US Postal Service funded a study, Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, where they used biometric measurements like heart rate, respiration, eye movement to gauge the attention and emotional engagement to both direct and digital mail. They incorporated MRI to see what the brain activity of respondents was when they were asked to recall a particular ad they had seen.
“Results indicated that participants had greater attention on digital ads and that engagement was similar for physical ads. However, individuals who were exposed to physical ads experienced heightened excitement as well as a greater subjective valuation and desirability for the items advertised.”
People Love Mail
Surprise … people are excited and happy to receive mail – especially when it’s addressed to them by name!
According to Gallup, even Millennials – who studies have shown are people too 😉 – found that 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving mail!
And don’t forget that this group has money, an estimated spending power of 1.4 trillion dollars by 2020. You can bet they are or will be buying houses soon.
I’m not telling you to abandon social media or digital. Heck no, because I teach video marketing and I know it works!
What I am suggesting, however, is that you leverage both because that’s how your customer thinks.
They will visit a web site to gather information but 96% of time leave without making a purchase. They are in fact-finding-mode at this point.
But if you can capture their contact info, that’s where the direct mail aspect compliments your online initiative. Then you can go deeper into fostering and nurturing that relationship.
Furthermore, direct mail can also drive people to your website.
According to Canada Post in a study they did, The Neuroscience Behind The Response-driving Power Of Direct Mail, 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online to visit that particular web site. 62% of respondents made a purchase within 3 months.
Does direct mail work?
Does social media work?
The trick is leveraging both in your print marketing. You want the most exposure, to increase the odds that your customer will respond.
Oh and one more thing, direct mail is just that. It’s something of perceived value that is directly addressed by name to someone.
In the case of a newsletter it needs to look like YOU made it vs. some slick corporate propaganda piece.
Remember people are tired of Fake-New and Alternative Truths. They are looking for credibility, trustworthiness and authenticity.
We’ve been producing response-getting newsletters for REALTORS for almost two decades with those three criteria in mind.
I could tell you all the reasons why real estate professionals like you subscribe to our service, but you can see for yourself and download a complimentary sample by visiting ServiceForLife.com