I was at a trade show at the end of last year and had lots of enjoyable conversations with partners, customers and potential customers. But the one I chuckled the most about was the conversation I had at the luncheon with a man who was about 25 years old. Without realizing it, he basically made an argument when it came to sending mail to a mailbox and how it isn’t a necessity anymore.
Now, not that there is anything wrong with his age, but I realize that some of the younger generation doesn’t go to their mailbox or the Post Office mailbox nearly as often as prior generations. Some may have never been to a mailbox at all (which is a crazy thought), but it is a reality. Many now get their information through paperless communication, such as emails or even through online platforms like Instagram and TikTok. For some, there just isn’t a need to walk to the mailbox anymore.
But back to my conversation. There were about eight people sitting around a large round table and we were talking about what each of us did. When it was my time to share that I work at an online printing and mailing company, the young man’s boss said “We don’t use mail. Instead of sending snail mail, we send everything electronically.”
I responded, “Well done! So, you don’t have envelopes in the office or a postage meter?”
He reflected a moment and then said, “Well, we do have a postage meter, envelopes, and specialty paper but we don’t use them for anything.”
At which point, another colleague of theirs responded with, “Well, we do send a few letters through the United States Postal Service using First-Class Mail.”
His boss inquired directly to him about it and he then responded with, “We do have about 10 people in one community that want letters mailed, and 20 in another. And sometimes people reach out to us and ask that we mail something to them.”
Hmmm interesting….so sometimes they do send mail. It can be easy to forget that just because we live in a digital world that that doesn’t mean a lot of people still don’t like to receive important information via the USPS.
No more Postage Machines
While this wasn’t the key concept of my story, it allowed me to discuss how LetterStream frees up clients from the expenses that come along with mailing letters. This includes the actual postage machines, machine leases, machine service calls, postage machine desks, and floor space. Not to mention the other expenses that accompany sending mail, like different envelope sizes and toner. Plus let’s not forget to factor in the time it takes to make trips to the office supply store, stamps, training your employees…you know where I’m going with this.
Email Inboxes Overflowing
And back to the story…again. At some point, I was blown away to hear one of the nice gentlemen I was talking to say his email inbox is so full of emails that he can hardly get anything done. He said he gets hundreds of emails per day.
Of course, this made my mind start to ponder. I started thinking about the old adage- if everything is important, then nothing is. How can someone process hundreds of emails per day, and how can you designate the time you need for the important ones without being distracted by all the new emails that just keep coming day after day?
In short, how does one get in front of people easier than through an overflowing email inbox?
The Answer is Simple, Send a Letter to a Mailbox
After mulling over this entire conversation and then about what was said regarding email, my mind began to spin its own story and here is what it came up with:
“If you want to get the attention of someone and actually have them see what you are offering then it would make sense to put a real piece of mail in the mailbox. They will walk to their mailbox and grab their mail (for those that it applies to), they will walk back, flip through their mail pieces possibly separating them into different stacks. The key would be to make your mailing stand out so they will be intrigued to open it. And if it’s intriguing to open, then mission accomplished with getting in front of someone without ending up in the trash of an email account with every other promotional item.”
Ok, so obviously that’s not exactly what was said by the potential customer but you get the gist of where my mind went with that. He did, however, point out some truth that mail is a totally different medium than email. It calls for special handling and can even linger for days waiting for the right moment when it can be sorted, processed, and acted upon. There’s no denying that. However, sending USPS mail, whether it be First-Class Mail or Certified Mail, may actually catch the attention of the recipient in a way that email can’t anymore.
All-in-all the point of this story is: Maybe it’s time to start focusing on getting your message out there with the help of the mailbox in 2024.
If you decide you or your company want to send mail the old-school way, be sure to check out our 2024 USPS Postal Holiday calendar to not only see when your local Post Office is closed but also when we’re open and mailing.