[by Thomas Werner]
E-mail is a beautiful thing, it is quick, free, lists are easily updated, and you can automate your promotion process so that mailings go out on a regular basis. The downside of email is “delete”. No one ever has to open your note or look at your imagery before is has been thrown away. Another disadvantage of email is the shear volume of e-mail received on any given day. The number of emails in an InBox grows substantially when you work in a corporate situation, and your promotion stands a good chance of being lost amid notes for meetings, deadlines and client demands.
As fewer people are mailing their promotional pieces, snail mail avoids many of these pitfalls. If you send a post card or an intriguing mailer there is a good chance that your imagery will be reviewed. It also offers the opportunity to have your image end up on the office wall or refrigerator of an art buyer, creative director, photo editor, curator, or gallerist, turning your mailer into a mini billboard reaching others in the creative community. Finally, a mailer breaks though the digital clutter and gives the recipient something tangible, presenting you with a physical, tactile way to connect with your viewer. Whenever you can combine a visual and physical experience, the connection with your imagery and your business is always stronger.
Printing and mailing promotional pieces may be more expensive and take more time, but if you send to a focused group of potential clients the payoff should outweigh the expense. Getting work is the endgame, and to that end snail mail should be part of an integrated marketing process.