BNET recently interviewed David Allen abut 3 Reasons Your To-Do List Keeps Getting Longer.
- Personal organization tools don’t get you organized.
- Technology won’t help, it is making things worse.
- It’s not about managing time, it’s about managing your attention and focus.
So thinking about your customers, how can you help them? Present your information in a way that allows them to give it attention and focus. Direct mail is a great way to do that. The Mail Moment study gave us: “Right now – in a market you want to reach – your ideal prospect is just waiting for the moment. She’s eager to invite you in to see what your message can bring to her life. She’s even willing to set aside time to focus solely on what you have to say.”
Bain & Company published a brief titled “Publishing In The Digital Era” discussing adoption of E-Readers and the future for the publishing industry.
The report shared that most readers still report an attachment to paper, even younger readers born in the digital age. Paper beats digital information for yielding a response. This supports more wow numbers, magazine readership has actually increased 11 percent in the last 12 years. Typical young adults now read more magazine issues per month than their parents.
We all have awful days. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, shared many ways to deal with a terrible day.
- Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day.
- Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons.
- Distract yourself. You may be much better able to cope with the situation after having had a bit of relief. Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, or re-read beloved classics of children’s literature.
- Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded countertops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. This always works for me – and fortunately, my family is messy enough that I always have plenty of therapeutic clutter at hand.
- Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or played with your kids, or walked the dog, or read your children a story, or recycled.
- Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – but be careful of exercise that allows you to ruminate. For example, walking can provide uninterrupted time to dwell obsessively on your troubles.
- Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation. Studies show, though, that contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to.
- Things really will look brighter in the morning. Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.
- Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast email to engage with college friends. If you think members of the PTA are mad at you, don’t miss the spinning class where everyone knows and likes you.
- Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year?”
- Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief.
- Be grateful. Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse.
One of our favorite quotes is “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
In a discussion with the members of LinkedIn’s Direct Mail Group, author Dave Lewis, reviewed the history of broadcast faxes as an advertising medium and made some interesting comparisons with e-mail. He concluded that e-mail works great for people who really know each other. As a marketing medium, it seems to be losing effectiveness because of its greatest advantage – low cost. The low cost is leading to more and more volume which is leading to increased filtering and blocked messages.
He concluded his thoughts by saying, “meanwhile your six or seven pieces of direct mail will be waiting patiently for you at home, like the family dog. You can take your shoes off, flip through the mail, and see if there are any intriguing offers from one of the folks smart enough to invest some money in getting your attention.”
The Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day talked about how powerful an appropriate pat on the back can be with employees. They reminded us about an abundance of studies demonstrating the power of touch on everything from Rhesus monkeys to students in a classroom.
A pat on the back or a brief touch on the shoulder can express support and reassurance, making the recipient more willing to take risks and improving his decision making. Often times, contact can be more powerful than words. Use touch sparingly though, and don’t linger; it only takes a brief moment of contact; any longer can feel creepy.
This reinforces how powerful touch can be in other areas too, especially marketing. Can we help you to maintain a tactile relationship with your customers by sending something in the mail?
In the August issue of Deliver Magazine, the editors make a case for Direct Mail’s future.
Direct mail is entering a new age. Long an effective marketing device, mail is now being linked with new technologies in astounding ways that improve its effectiveness and bring a new engagement. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Emerging technologies were expected to take what direct had done, and do it better, faster and cheaper. Consider the irony then that far from killing it off, digital is helping usher in this new era of direct mail.
Of course direct mail and digital have always been buddies. Mail was the primary way most of us learned about the Internet. (Remember those ubiquitous disks from a major online company?)
Catalogers have always known that mail can drive additional sales and online visits, and many digital entrepreneurs have turned to the mailbox to drive people to the inbox. The difference today is that marketers are now finding methods for combining digital technology with mail to increase the power of the message. Mail is no longer the carrier, the device you use to drive someone online. It’s the beginning of a conversation that carries on once the customer logs on.
Clearly, the efficiencies of mail — its laser-like ability to target customers, paired with a way to expand that message — is making marketers rethink their opinion of what many regarded as an “old” advertising vehicle.
It’s about the convergence of traditional and digital, yes, but that’s just the start. What we’re witnessing is a revolution that will launch mail into the next generation and beyond. It’s another lesson in the amazing adaptability of mail.
Marketers would be smart to take full advantage of this flexibility. And smart marketers do.