“Anything good in the mail today?”
“Nah, nothing but bills and junk.”
But “junk” is in the eye of the beholder. To go cliché on you for a second, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Junk mail—by most people’s definition—includes:
- Sales letters
- Direct mail postcards
- Event invitations
- Donation requests
- Retail offers
Not given a second look (sometimes not even a first look), these pieces often land in the trash can. After all, who needs them cluttering your desk or dining room table?
I don’t. BUT I quite often don’t throw them away either. That’s right. I keep much of the collateral most others discard as worthless, and if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, I recommend you consider doing the same.
Junk Mail: A Catalyst To Crafting Clever Marketing Ideas
The variety of designs and calls to action in junk mail is a treasure trove of conceptual and strategic possibilities. The colors, the layouts, the sizes, the voice in the messaging, the special offers, etc.—all of it can help you expand your mind to new marketing and advertising possibilities.
As a copywriter, I especially dig that.
If your marketing look or messaging feels stale, reviewing junk mail can kick your brain out of a rut and spark new ideas for campaigns and promotions.
Two Things To Keep In Mind When Saving Junk Mail
- Realize not all junk mail is created equal. Some truly is just junk. Before you save something for future reference, make sure it has grabbed your attention and made an impression on you in some way. Some pieces will do that through their design elements and others might do that through their text. Some will have both going for them. Be choosy; otherwise, you’ll end up with a pile of garbage.
- Keep your junk organized. I keep my prized junk mail in a plastic storage bin so it’s all in one go-to place; I call it my “idea box.” I recommend you find a central location for any junk mail you save. Left piled up on your desk or strewn here and there, it will become a distraction—and massive mess. Get it together, and keep it together so it’s readily available when you’re looking for marketing inspiration.
Rejoice In The Junk
You see, all junk mail isn’t evil. By jilting your preconceived notions about it, you can use it to your advantage in your own marketing efforts.
C’mon, isn’t it time you showed your junk mail a little love?
By Dawn Mentzer
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