First established over 50 years ago, Valpak – a provider of print, mobile and online advertising solutions and coupons – has been a major player in the direct marketing industry for decades. In fact, if you were to head to your mailbox right now, you’d probably have some type of Valpak mailer waiting for you inside.

But the chances are also high that you will ignore the Valpak mailer… just like everyone else.

While it’s true that Valpak has been operating for five full decades, it does little to actually improve the return on investment of direct mail marketing campaign. Anyone who tells you differently is probably trying to sell you something, and that “something” is probably minuscule ad space alongside the ads of your competitors.

Why Valpak Just Doesn’t Work

If you had to sum up all the reasons why Valpak doesn’t work into a single word, it would almost certainly be “visibility.” When you send out a promotional offer with Valpak, that offer isn’t easy for your customers to find because it’s buried in a bulk of cheaply printed paper ads and it probably exists alongside 5 to 10 ads from your direct competitors. How do you expect your customers to find your promotion when you probably can’t even do so quickly yourself?

Because of that, Valpak has a low (and probably non-existent) return on investment. Unlike a technique like analytics powered list building, which itself uses tracking and analytics to allow you to hone your materials for the right market at the right time, Valpak depends on the idea that “if you just send out a non-specific promotion to as many people as humanly possible, eventually a few of them have to take the bait.”

That is hardly the way to build a genuine relationship with your target audience.

On that topic, Valpak makes it almost impossible to build a loyal following because of the prospects it is targeting in the first place. Valpak similar to Groupon in that if it manages to be successful in any way, it’s really only bringing in deal hunters. These are people who are less passionate about your brand than they are about being able to say that they saved money. Those people will make one purchase – at a heavy discount – and likely never return.

These, in essence, are the reasons why Valpak just doesn’t work. It may have at one point, but it’s woefully inadequate in the modern era to say the least. This is especially true when you compare it to other direct mail advertising techniques like plastic postcard mailers that let you use the principles of specificity and customization, as well as analytics-driven targeting, to your full advantage.