Everything is digital these days. Ebooks, files, even mail is digital. All important information seems to be digitally delivered now but there’s one thing that online marketers just don’t seem to get – people still like to hold reading material in their hand when they’re reading it. You can send all the emails you want, but if you really want someone to sit up and take notice you’ll send that information on real paper using good, old-fashioned snail mail.
Some people receive hundreds of emails a day and with all of those important messages zipping around the Internet you would think that snail mail had become just a faded memory of the past. However, look at your own reading habits. What type of reading material do you really pay attention to?
When you send out that email to your marketing list, chances are your open rate is no where near 100 percent. In fact, if you have more than 12 percent of your subscribers opening – and actually reading – your newsletters than you’re doing better than the industry average. It’s difficult to get your subscribers to open your emails because their inboxes are literally swamped. Yet, were you to send that exact same newsletter on real paper via snail mail, you’re almost guaranteed a 100% open rate.
Why? Well, for one thing, it’s different. It’s novel these days to receive a real, tangible piece of mail. Not counting bills, of course.
But the biggest reason people open real, physical mail is because they can. Human beings still like to hold books and newspapers and other reading material and take their time reading it and absorbing the information. We actually spend more time reading tangible reading material than we do digital.
We know that if we want to take a break from reading a long newsletter we can set it down on the table and come back to it any time we want. Not so with content you read on the Internet. A lot of people are still not comfortable navigating the Web and they’re afraid if they leave the page – even if it’s their email – they’ll never be able to find their way back. So they quickly scan the article because they either don’t have time to read it or they’re afraid they’ll ‘lose’ it.
Of course, it takes more time and effort to send your newsletters to your subscribers using snail mail, and you’ll have to pay for postage, too. But wouldn’t it be worth it? If your email open rate is only 12 percent and only 10 percent of those opens convert, you’re looking at only 1.2 people out of every 100 people who might make a purchase. If 100 percent of your subscribers open your physical newsletters your conversion rate just jumped up to 10 people out of every 100.
So how do you convert your digital newsletters to paper and ink? Simple enough. You just produce your newsletter in your word processing program and take it to the local printer. The plus is, you can create a larger newsletter and give your subscribers something they can really sink their teeth into.
When you create an email newsletter you’re always concerned about length. You know your subscribers are only going to pay attention to your content for a few minutes. You do your best to give them quality information in a short period of time but it’s not always enough. And that’s how you lose subscribers.
But you can mail an 8 or 10 page newsletter for the cost of a single stamp. If you only send out your newsletters once a month you can pack a ton of information in there and keep your subscribers busy until it’s time for your next newsletter.
But what about links? You can’t put clickable links on paper. But you can build your brand. And that’s one area where most Internet marketers are a little weak. We’re too caught up in getting people to click our links and we forget we need to develop a relationship with our readers first. We have to give them a reason to click and it takes much more than one flashy sales page to do it.
How do you get physical addresses?
When you create your Aweber opt-in form you have the option to add additional fields so you can ask your subscribers for their mailing address. It’ll take some fancy footwork though. People are leery about parting with their physical address online. But if you build it up by talking about your great new REAL newsletter on your blog, you’ll start growing your list. It’s no more difficult than generating that email marketing list. You just have to work at building a relationship of trust with your readers. And the pay-off is well worth the effort.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!