Collect those emails.

The question is not: will direct mail die. The question is: when will it die. Right now, those glossy postcards are nearing retirement. When properly used, they can still be smart mediums for reaching folks, especially since not everyone has moved wholeheartedly into the digital age. But we are in the digital age. And the opportunities afforded through digital marketing vastly trump what you can do with a glossy 6 x 9 card. And younger generations don’t even pick-up their mail. So you have to consider that someday, in the not so distance future, we may not even have mailboxes to put those glossy postcards in.

Start thinking digitally now. Social networks, banner ads and eblasts all allow you to truly target consumers based on their preferences and shopping history. This is a far better indicator of whether or not they will buy from you than the demographics used in decades past. You can also track digital advertising to inform future marketing efforts. You’ll know your ROI. You’ll know what worked and what didn’t. Plus, digital marketing is cheaper than direct mail. A lot cheaper. You get better results for less expense. That’s very good for your bottom line.

Make digital marketing a priority. Collect those emails. Create Facebook campaigns to boost your likes. Follow competitors and vendors on Twitter. This way you’ll be prepared to capture those future generations of consumers—and not get left behind when direct mail finally meets its death.

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