Some businesses still depend on first-class postal service, or “snail mail,” to send their coupons and advertisements to consumers. These businesses may also rely on the mail for sending invoices and receiving payment. However, the United States Postal Service recently closed the doors on more than 200 processing centers, which will add a minimum of one day’s wait for a large number of first-class mail deliveries. In light of this new development, business owners that rely on snail mail as a source of income generation may find themselves frustrated and concerned about the future.
Because snail mail is expected to become even slower than it already is, it is unlikely that businesses relying on the service will continue to thrive unless they make changes to the way they operate. These businesses may decide to use other services to send mail to customers, such as UPS or FEDEX. Unfortunately, however, these services aren’t much faster than traditional snail mail, and they can be very expensive. It is more likely that businesses will transfer their coupons, offers, catalogs, payroll, and invoicing operations to the internet.
Using search engine optimization, or SEO, for advertising offers many advantages over snail mail. First of all, SEO-driven advertising is instantaneous. When SEO techniques are used effectively, a customer who inputs a business’s keyword phrase on a search engine will view relevant advertisements and offers within seconds. Customers may also visit the business’s website, make purchases, or sign up to receive future communications from the company. This allows the company to send online catalogs, coupons, and promotional information to the customer via email instead of snail mail. While snail mail can take several days to travel to the customer, email takes only a few moments.
Using SEO over snail mail for advertising also offers an additional benefit for businesses. Most potential customers that receive a business’s coupons and promotions via snail mail will regard the documents as “junk mail” and throw them away without a second glance. Free coupons from Valpak and Groupon are often more accepted online given people seek them out rather than receive them unsolicited. SEO advertising, however, brings information about the business and its services onto the customer’s computer screen. Because the customer doesn’t have to physically open an envelope, he or she is much more likely to view the advertisement and absorb the information.
Even in-house transactions, such as payroll, are more effective when completed online instead of via snail mail. With the changes to the Postal Service’s delivery times, checks sent to employees using first-class delivery can take more than four days to arrive. By using the internet, however, businesses can direct deposit money into an employee’s account in minutes. Businesses can also use the internet to send invoices and receive payments from customers in real time.
The internet represents the future of advertising and business operations. Many businesses already maintain websites and utilize SEO techniques to attract and retain customers, advertise sales, and offer coupons. SEO is more effective, cheaper, and faster than snail mail. It is only a matter of time before snail mail has no place in the business world.