In a Digital World, a Physical Piece of Mail Really Stands Out

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 21 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

As technology progresses and moves us forward, what are we leaving behind? While older, non-digital media certainly has its limitations, a physical piece of mail has benefits that are being sacrificed at the same time.

Companies that try to preserve old media, such as direct mail, hold on to these benefits like treasures and help people understand their power. They also mark themselves as being detached from the flock — boldly carrying on ideals that enabled the written word to spread since an age before computers were even theorized.

Mail Is Like Classic Hollywood’s “Movie Magic”

Going back and watching older movies like Blade Runner or the original Star Wars trilogy may cause you to sit up and notice a trend. Certain effects like the Yoda puppet look uncanny in a way that captivates. Movies like An American Werewolf in London or John Carpenter’s The Thing take this prospect to mind-bending directions, creating effects that still intrigue the mind to this day.

The reason these effects stand out is because they were created through ingenious methods in order to produce something physical. In every instance, there is an original to point to. You can see the original Yoda puppet used in The Empire Strikes Back, or you can go look at matte paintings depicting the frigid tundra of planet Hoth.

The purpose of bringing up these examples is not to merely share some sci-fi nostalgia, but rather to point out that physical pieces typically engage the mind more readily than digital products, which tend to be regarded as disposable or unremarkable in this digital age. Physical pieces are in fact becoming a dying breed, but millions of people still appreciate the value of something tangible and produced through hard manual labor rather than state-of-the-art rendering programs.

For this same reason, a physical piece of mail lingers in the recipient’s mind. Bold custom envelope designs jump out at the eye and utilize colors that no computer monitor or smartphone screen could ever do justice. Physical calls to action speak one-to-one to your audience without them having to think about why an ad was served to them on a specific page. Custom envelopes with gorgeous art or a thought provoking design make a distinct impression, and can be filed away or stuck on the refrigerator rather than shared online and promptly forgotten.

Gets the Job Done Right

There is another reason to compare practical movie effects with sending physical pieces of mail. Plenty of people are still doing it because they know it works. Famous directors like Christopher Nolan of the Dark Knight films spend countless hours and money rehearsing and developing practical effects for scenes because they know the final product will not only look better than digital effects, but that it will also be unique and unreproducible. When filming The Dark Knight, he even developed a rigged semi-truck that would flip over vertically without damaging nearby buildings or harming stunt performers.

While not quite on this scale, our design team and your ideas can work hard together to craft something unforgettable and striking in a physical piece of mail. You can assure that every copy displays correctly, with the proper colors and with an attention to detail that often seems to fall by the wayside with digital messages.

So make the right choice; keep your message physical so it can be heard, remembered and even felt with a greater impact than just another piece of digital noise.


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