I do not know where I first heard that statement but caught myself doing it ten years ago (and I still do...don't you?). It was at that point that I wondered if my direct mail was ever seen before it went into the trash.
I decided years ago that I would not send any more mail to my clients in envelopes. I set began sending monthly marketing cards and yes I still do. Even with all the wonderful ways of communicating through the internet and all of the new technology, it still works for me. I keep it simple and usually send "just listed", "just sold" and market data cards. And I have been consistent every month something goes out to my SOI (the single most important source of referral business) and my geographic and professional lists. Not only do I keep it simple but I actually use an up to date picture (so people still recognize me at the grocery store and other public places). Over the years the consistency and the simplicity have paid off. Many people try this and are gung ho for several months and then stop. It takes a minimum of five times before people will even notice and after that you better follow up at least every other month. This is just another component that works with everything else we do to generate business.
The best part of the card is that when the recipient is standing over the trash can, they always look at one side to see if the mail is something that's needed and then turn it over to make sure. They see a brief message and then your name and face and then it's into the trash can but by then they have seen you and your message so the job is done. I cannot tell you the number of people whom I meet that know me just from my cards and we always manage to have something to talk about and that is all you really need; chance to make yourself known in a non threatening manner. I know this is rather "old school" but I have to tell you it has continued to pay dividends over the years!