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Part of my daily post office box routine is stopping by the trashcan before I leave the building to throw away the unwanted and unsolicited mail we receive: credit card offers (we have enough), big box office supply store circulars (we email, so we don’t have much of a need for office supplies), computer catalogs (really, how many computers does one company need?), and Costco catalogs (we have enough big-screen tvs; one is too many, really).

I do the same thing at home: before I enter the house, I stop by the big green trash can and throw in cards from the Mini-Cooper dealership (we haven’t had that car for three years), postcards from the newest nearest gym (we run, thanks), and Trader Joe’s catalogs (I don’t shop there, it’s too far away).

How many trees, I wonder, have given up shading me to be thrown into my trashcan?

Just last month in South Carolina we held a Republican primary. Those with home phones were subjected to (at a minimum) 9 robo calls on Friday before the Saturday primary from politicians hoping to swing their vote. Not all of those who received calls were even planning to vote in that primary. There were many Facebook posts expressing frustration at the number of calls they received.

And speaking of Facebook, I was checking my nephew’s basketball score recently and was subjected to a picture of a deformed baby under the ad for birth defects caused by Paxil users. I’ve never event taken Paxil!

What’s a better solution? Hmmmm…let me think….Email! And that’s not just because we’re in the business. We do a good bit of direct mail for some clients as well, so all is relative to your target demographic and your product or service.

Occasionally we receive some push back from prospects who are leery of emailing someone they don’t know. The beauty of seeking a professional conversation with someone you don’t know on email is that if they’re not interested, they can unsubscribe. It’s a polite, yet direct way of saying “I’m not interested.”

If you’re at a networking event, you have to down your drink to come up with an excuse to leave a conversation with someone you’re not interested in talking to, but who, as the case always is, won’t stop talking. To control your direct mail, you have to locate a phone number, call the company and request to be taken off their mailing list (and hope they will do it). To avoid offensive FB ads, well, I don’t know what you can do.

On email, you can let me know with a click that you’re not the right person to receive this communique, and that you never want to hear from me again. Standing over my trashcan and dumping direct mail into it that doesn’t apply to me seems like a greater waste of resources and time than simply clicking a link.

There are many ways to reach your prospect; email helps you make sure that your prospect is interesting in hearing from you (sometimes indicated by momentary silence) or not (they’ve unsubscribed!).

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