How Come Nobody’s Chopping Down Their Mailbox?

By: Rob Mason, Chairman, Valassis
Published Wednesday, Jun 7, 2017

How Come Nobody’s Chopping Down Their Mailbox?

Ever wanted to save a display ad that popped up when you went to your favorite app or checked the weather on your phone?

How many times have you paged back through your email to find the latest and greatest offer from your favorite r(e-tailer)?

That’s what I thought – at least after participating on an industry panel two weeks ago at the National Postal Forum in Baltimore.

Three primary themes emerged from that session:

  • First, the delineation of digital versus analog marketing campaigns is becoming obsolete;
  • Second, consumers are beginning to suffer from a new malaise related to what can feel like an indiscriminate bombardment of mobile messaging; and
  • Third, consumer engagement with printed mail – particularly when it includes relevant information – is unique and hard to replicate or beat.

Let me provide a bit of color on each.

Historically, marketers have allocated their budgets to specific media, carving out dedicated amounts for digital and “traditional” channels. The challenge with this approach – especially given what has become a very non-linear consumer path to purchase – is that it limits flexibility as well as the ability to respond to the benefits available from the exponential increase in real-time performance data. When media performance and engagement signals the need for change, siloed budgets mandate staying the course.

It’s clear that the enlightened marketers on our panel have taken the approach of creating campaigns that surround the consumer with timely, relevant messages that can be “flexed” as engagement and influence metrics dictate.

Is anyone surprised at the idea that the average consumer may be struggling with “too much mobile”? As we spend almost as much time on our mobile devices, as we do watching TV, marketers have clearly recognized the opportunity.  But there is a challenge behind that opportunity.  In addition to the relevant content that is delivered via data driven, behavioral targeting, comes those campaigns whose chief success metrics come in the form of impressions and eyeballs, creating overload.

Finally, there’s very little reason for anyone to be looking for ways to pry the box from their home, cover up the slot in their front door, or take an axe to the curbside repositories that gather the daily mail. Again, assuming the content is relevant, timely and – ideally – personalized, printed mail has increased as the favored way for consumers to receive value, garnering their full attention and offering a shelf life of days compared to seconds.


Traditional and digital delineations are becoming obsolete, giving way to marketing campaigns that seek to envelop the consumer with ultra-relevant, timely messaging delivered via multiple channels that synch with the path to purchase, ultimately enhancing the impact of the communication.

It’s an undeniable fact that consumers are being bombarded with more and more mobile advertising. The best way to avoid “too much mobile” is to leverage the tremendous behavioral data that mobile engagement provides and use it to make sure your message is truly welcomed by the consumer.

If you’re looking for high engagement, influence and strong ROI, train your sights on the tried – and trusted – mailbox. Consumers of all ages look to it to provide real and desired value they can use in their daily lives – something that ought to keep it safe from the woodsman’s axe for the foreseeable future!