As technology matures, marketers are recognising the importance leveraging a diverse variety of channels; as the 'baby boomer' market gets to grips with smart devices and technology reaches levels of integration only previously dreamed up by sci-fi fans and conspiracy theorists - indeed, Cicret are currently developing bracelets that turn even your wrist into a smartphone - it is important to incorporate media allowing communication through these channels.

However, we must not forget that as technology becomes more commonplace, it simultaneously paves the way for the novelty element of direct mail.

It was my flatmate's birthday yesterday, and as a small pile of intriguingly bulked, handwritten envelopes in cream, pink and mint green fluttered to our hallway floor, I resisted with difficulty the urge to rip them open to examine the lovingly chosen words and colourful images beneath. This is a change, even in my lifetime.

As a child, a mound of paper clogging the front door was commonplace, and the stacks of white, corporately lettered envelopes did nothing but provide ammunition against siblings in our stationery warfare. Even important letters, I regret to admit, were occasionally ripped open and folded into aeroplanes, such was the frequency of letters. Now, however, snail mail is a scarcity at best. In some areas, even door drops from local takeaways, hairdressers and delis are rare. The tactile novelty of opening something addressed to you, on good quality paper, with an interesting or emotive message, is once more very attractive.

The direct mail of the 80s has been and gone. No longer do cheaply printed tissue-thin letters with unimaginative slogans hold much sway, however the little warm buzz of opening something addressed to you, and giving it a leisurely read on your sofa with a cup of tea is back. Direct mail alone might not appear to have the same success rates as electronic or social media campaigns, because there is no URL or click-through to track, and upon receiving letters it is more likely than ever that consumers will check out the deal online or order on the phone, but recent research indicates that adding direct mail to your mix can increase the success of your campaign by up to 20%. Ensure your mailing piece is interesting, innovative, and a treat to its recipient, and it will be lapped up. Ensure you have a means of recording where the customer was first motivated to contact you, and you’ll be able to prove this to yourself.

Use social media. Approach people on the phone and on the street by all means. Send emails. Never commit the cardinal sin of bland, untargeted direct mail. But above all, never, EVER forget the magic of a well-targeted, imaginative mailing piece used in collaboration with your campaign.

This has been Listbroker, providing excellent marketing advice since 1980.