Today, we’re talking about…
The lost art of direct mail.

The disappearance of direct mail. 

Over the years, direct mail—the once prized possession of great travel and hospitality marketers—has taken a backseat to hyper-targeted digital advertising. And understandably so, it’s hard not to let limited budgets favor more trackable tools such as digital display and search.

But what about surprise and delight?

For luxury hotels and resorts looking to leverage their past guest data, few mediums have the potential to provide a more surprising and frankly more delightful brand touchpoint than direct mail. 

Remember beautiful catalogues and travel brochures? 

When done well, these print pieces provide consumers with a tactile experience, a brand touchpoint they quite literally get to hold in their hands. Great ones—we’re looking at you, Four Seasons—sit on coffee tables for months, sometimes years. Just too beautiful to throw away.

Putting your data to work. 

Luxury hotels and resorts sit on boatloads of data pertaining to their past guests. Most digital campaigns only leverage one or two of those data points: email and phone number. 

Direct mail taps into a third.

The largely ignored, yet far more intimate home address allows marketers to harness the power and promise of their CRM, to deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience. 

The mailbox is alive and well.

Grocery delivery, meal kit subscription boxes, and Amazon have proven that the mailbox is alive and well, providing daily enjoyment to those who have been cooped up this past year. 

It’s cheap and easy, too. 

The cost of direct mail remains surprisingly competitive. And direct mail providers have made ordering and fulfillment fast and incredibly easy.

What gets in the way? 

Great creative, for one thing. As hotel marketing companies continue to double down on digital, the art of print advertising gets lost, and what looks great on a 30-inch screen may not transition seamlessly to print. A designer with solid experience in print is key to a keepsake-worthy direct mail piece. 

The same, but different. 

An elegant piece of print collateral in the mailbox—as simple as a heartfelt letter from the GM or as dazzling as a multi-page print piece with foil emboss—is yet another powerful point of entry hoteliers can layer into their marketing strategy. 

Flash back!

Check your mailbox. Take a look at the print pieces you’re carrying into the house. What separates the ones you throw away instantly from the ones that sit on your kitchen counter for weeks?

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 36th year, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Carlsbad and Bogota. Visit Tambourine to learn more about our new line of segment based hospitality solutions.