Are the Days of Direct Mail Marketing Dead For Insurance Agencies?

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We love our mailman, but to be politically correct, we could say that he is a mailperson or a postal worker. On most days, however, we should just say “Why is he coming?” We do get physical checks once a week. However, they could be sent twice a week. Or we could ask our clients to pay through PayPal or an online transfer. This is something we are currently discussing. We occasionally receive letters from family members or friends, but 99 percent of our communication is done via email or social media. As my grandparents are nearing 80, their primary communication method is now email.

Our diligent and prompt mail person delivered 11 mail packages to our home, which is also a home-based office. They were all solicitations of some kind, including Asian Food, Pool Supplies and Electronics. The 12th item would have been an insurance agency marketing brochure. It would have been thrown in with the rest. It’s costly, slow, hard to track and measure, and it is environmentally inconvenient for agencies and other businesses to continue sending snail mail. This type of marketing is still useful for some companies, or perhaps they are familiar with it. There are better ways to spend marketing dollars for insurance agencies. Direct mail, also known as snail mail is obsolete and a solution that was once a phonograph in the iPod age.

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While I do respect these companies’ right to market their products, I think they should do so electronically. We shouldn’t be required to pay for it or spend time, money, or gas to deliver it. Because it is our tax dollars that subsidise the huge amount of junk mail, I say we. In their latest quarterly 10-Q report, the post office, which has been suffering losses of approximately $1.5 billion per quarter, made these statements.

  • “The recent losses are mainly attributable to the unprecedented declines of mail volumes that started in 2008”
  • “The Postal Service projects that the amount of outstanding debt at year-end will increase by the maximum allowed $3 billion to $13.2 billion over the September 30, 2009. Balance.” In 2011, the $15 billion debt ceiling is expected to be insufficient.

Although the loss is not funded directly by taxpayers, the USPS borrows money from the Treasury to cover the deficits. The net effect is that taxpayers pay dollars. Recent proposals suggested that the six-day-a-week mail service be discontinued in favor of five days a week delivery. This is an absurd interim measure. To encourage more electronic marketing and communication, we should have discussions about reducing delivery to three days per week.

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Insurance agencies that still use direct mail marketing must consider this proposal for a decrease in postal mail service as a omen and adopt a more digital method of communication and marketing. There are many options that are more efficient than direct mail. These include eMail, Social Media Marketing (SEO), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Advertising (Pay Per Click (PPC), and Web Seminar Marketing. Radio and television offer more opportunities for environmental sustainability than traditional direct mail. However, these options can be more expensive and more difficult to target than eMarketing and Web Seminar Marketing or PPC Advertising for agencies.

According to Wikipedia, these alternatives are more oil-efficient and labor-intensive than the “596,000 employees and 218,000 vehicles” that the post office uses for mail delivery. It takes a lot of bricks and mortar infrastructure to deliver 11 pieces direct marketing junk mail (or 12 depending on whether your agency brochure was included), and we don’t want to have a $6 billion annual deficit just to do this. Is snail mail going to die slowly and invisibly? In the end, I believe so. My credo for marketing insurance agencies is “Don’t go postal. Go virtual.”

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