I won’t dive in too deep to this issue tonight — but getting yet another direct mailing from a magazine wanting me to subscribe is driving me nuts. Today the direct mailing was from Conde Nast Portfolio (a new magazine). Yesterday it was Smart Money. Ever since I signed up for Fortune, Business 2.0, and Entrepreneur, I’ve gotten at least 3 direct mailings from magazines or newspapers every week. I don’t know which one sells their mailing lists, but I’d guess all three. That’s beside the point.

What I really want to get at is that these companies need some serious marketing lessons for reaching young consumers such as myself. Do marketing execs honestly think I will subscribe to a magazine that sends me a direct mail? What happens when I receive a direct mailing, about anything, not just magazines? Three things:

  1. I open it
  2. Shred anything with my name and address
  3. Throw the rest away (recycle actually)

Don’t marketers realize this is a complete waste of money on their part? Spend your time creating great content and generating word of mouth — not on direct mail campaigns. If a marketer is really hell-bent on reaching me through traditional means and they know I subscribe to Fortune (my favorite magazine) — ADVERTISE there. I consume the majority of my media ONLINE — if your aim is to reach me, get a clue and go where I spend my time. Advertise on the Fortune web site. Advertise on TechCrunch, Yahoo!, or ESPN. PUSH marketing is over. If I want your magazine or service, I’ll find your product! Just make yourself findable.

And does anyone know where I can get off of all these damn mailing lists from one place?


  • Andrea

    Here is a site to help eliminate unwated mail:

    https://www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing

  • I agree completely! It’s almost as bad as spam.

    You could always send back the postage-paid mailers, leaving them blank of course. The best ones to do this with are the ones that come with envelopes. Shred the material, put the shreddings in the envelope, and send it back!

  • Drew Meyers

    Jay-
    I’m just sick of the crap I get in the mail from marketers trying to cram their message down my throat. The real annoying thing is that I should not have to spend time to get off these lists — they shouldn’t exist in the 1st place. The absolute worst are the credit card companies. You’d think they’d track how many offers they send to each name and stop after like 20 or something — I wonder how they track RIO?

  • Of all the things to get worked up about that take less than 10 seconds of my day. This is near the bottom.
    When it stops being effective, they’ll stop sending it to you. It works because the 1-2% response rate would probably pay for the mailer. It stands to reason that since you like to read, maybe you’d like to read something else. I’m sure the numbers work out at that if you like Fortune, Business 2.0, and Entrepreneur, you’ll probably like Smartmoney.
    They probably don’t differentiate where you placed your order. They just know you probably read it on paper. So they send you paper. It would be nice though if more laws were in place to limit what was allowed to be printed on mail so I could worry less about shredding things.
    I know deep down that direct marketing is still more effective at gaining local market share than the internet is. Because of this, I actually try to pay attention to see what actually catches my eye. You never know when you’ll be in a business where you’ll need to remember how to get somebody’s attention.

  • Drew Meyers

    Spencer-
    I’m not arguing that this is a pretty minor hassle — but that doesn’t mean it’s not a waste of my time and their money.

    Maybe direct mail does work for older consumers that are used to traditional media messaging, but it’s not effective for reaching someone like me who doesn’t listen to marketing messages that are pushed out without my asking.