So you think print is out, digital advertising is in, right? Wrong! Despite popular opinion, direct mail campaigns are still highly effective and can compete well with internet marketing. People are bombarded every day with words and images on their computer screens, and must continually fight these distractions if they are to get on with their day.

Your potential customers will at least have to hold your piece in their hand and glance at it before tossing it in the trash. If it is attractive or interesting enough they may look at it a bit longer and make a mental note that you exist. Who hasn’t paused to look at a travel brochure with colorful pictures even though they have no intention of taking an expensive trip? A physical piece of mail captures perhaps even more attention than it did before in this digital age.

Advertising through email is not necessarily the best approach to marketing either. As Craig Simpson writes in Entrepreneur Magazine, people are swamped with emails every day and often just don’t open them, partly for fear of spam or a virus. If they do open your email, they may be wary of clicking on a link or attachment they don’t trust.

Another factor, according to Simpson, is personal touch. People might just throw out a flier with loud, ugly advertising, but what if you received a nice, textured envelope with a real stamp that appears to be hand-written, shaped more like a greeting card than a business envelope? You would probably be intrigued and open it up just to feel the connection to a real human being.

The lesson that many successful businesses have learned is, don’t underestimate the power of direct mail!