The WSJ made an excellent point in a piece posted last week about the continued importance of direct mail in the marketing mix of the average small business owner. The article goes on to cite examples of real small businesses who after briefly succumbing to the lure of saving money by cutting their partnership with the USPS, quickly re-instated their previously successful direct mail campaign.

Email sounds great on paper but for most small business, email lists are still an obstacle. They don’t have them and can’t afford to rent them or they can’t find one that matches their target demographics. But they’ve bought into the idea that dmail and postage is too expensive when email is cheap (or free) and so they rein in their dmail budget and do little or nothing in the email space.

Direct mail still deserves a place in your marketing plan though perhaps with a smaller part of your budget.

Gone are the days when dropping generic letters or cards to thousands of rented names each month makes sense. In their place small biz marketers are finding that customized communications to a smaller and more targeted list are not only more effective but can help them stand out. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t read “junk mail.” You are not your client and if your communication looks like junk, then you’re doing it wrong.

A personalized package with customized info sent priority mail to your target will stand out. A hand written note on company notecards will get their attention. A humorous postcard with an exaggerated graphic may be just the reminder they need to keep your name and your business top of mind. Complement the sales calls, emails and other tools in your marketing mix with a good dmail piece and reap the rewards ignored by your thrifty competitors.