I got to thinking......
Years ago, when you became Adobe Certified, Adobe mailed you a package. In that package was a nice foil embossed certificate, a small Adobe-branded notebook (great quality) and few other little items. It was a really nice way to say "Thank you" or "Congratulations" from Adobe.
Nowadays, you receive a PDF of the certificate and that's all. I don't know about you, but a 1-off foil embossed print run is not in my budget :)
Years ago, when you purchased software you would receive additional items such as a nice case (or metal tin) for the disc, a manual, a shortcuts cheat sheet, along with occasional other items such as t-shirts, mugs, pens, etc. Some smaller companies still practice this. Most larger companies do not. In fact, over recent years the major software companies have whittled these extras down to, well, nothing. Legal owners aren't really getting anything that illegal users aren't getting.
A decade or so ago, it was common practice to send clients or vendors small gifts usually around the holidays as more of a way to say "Thank you for your business/support." It was also a chance to remind clients/vendors that you are still around.
Nowadays, I see e-cards or holiday emails and that's about it.
When I started in design, it was common practice to create a self-promo mailer which included your resume, some work samples, along with other items. It has also been common practice to create such self-promotional packages from time to time and send those out to gain new business. Larger agencies still do this business to business. But often the smaller the agency/studio/designer the less likely they are to take this route. At least that is my perception, I may be incorrect.
So... when a designer chooses to take on a self-promo campaign to either acquire new clients or retain existing clients.......
- Is there still value in sending these analog packages? Or has everyone pretty much given up and taken the easy way out and only deals with these sort of things electronically?
- Does it help in client acquisition/retention? Does research exist which would state whether or not the ROI is worth the effort?