Some say Rock and Roll is dead. Some say direct mail is dead. I say nay nay. Yes, I can accept that we’re not at the height of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys creating magic, the Eagles delivering Hotel California, Led Zeplin shredding, the Rolling Stones wowing, Ozzie Ozborn freaking us out or Bruce Springstein making us bite our lower lips. The art form has evolved and while the UK and US are not putting out rock album after rock album, the art form lives quite healthily. Today’s’ rock and roll artists are inspired by the performers before them and live in a completely different world of access and excess. Dave Grohl, The Black Keys, Pearl Jam, The Strokes, Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Edward Sharpe, Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire and Muse will argue that Rock and Roll is anything but dead.

I’m not an idiot. I know that Rock and Roll is way sexier than Direct Mail, and I speak from experience having been in the live music industry for 8 years and the Direct Mail industry for 8 years. The Rock and Roll v Direct Mail comparison is a fair one. You see there are fewer Rock artists today and likewise there are fewer Direct Mail options that are viable and worthy of an ad buck. USPS came up with an answer for door hangers through their EDDM product. It is working very well. Our company, Monthly Targets, came up with an answer for high-conversion high-visibility direct mail called Pop-It Cards. These plastic postcards work brilliantly if I do say so myself.

Radio was jammed with quality rock and roll 10, 20, 40 years ago. When you get a nugget of good rock and roll today, you savor it and appreciate it. You don’t dismiss it because it isn’t as prevalent as it once was. The same goes for quality direct mail in the age of digital madness. Flashes and bursts of ads are getting thrown across your eyeballs at rapid fire frequency and when something quality lands up in your mailbox, then in your hands, it is likely to catch your attention. You will absorb the message and likely act on it. The trick for Direct Mail, like Rock and Roll in a digital era, is to be relevant, be true and stand out.

No. Direct Mail is not Rock and Roll. But they are both alive and well, different from their original form and evolved to a special art form derivative of its predecessors and equally effective.