In fund raising and marketing circles, pre-internet, Direct Mail was the most effective way to mass distribute information and solicit donations. Depending on the cause and the relationship management of the organization direct mail proved to be either very effective or an absolute waste of time and money. Response rates are traditionally very low (a few percent) but a new method may help drive those rates up.
Matter is taking an unconventional approach to direct marketing by sending out boxes of "interesting stuff" instead of paper. The items are carefully collected for specific audiences, and sent to consumers at no charge. Each participating company creates and contributes an item—something that explains what the company does, says something about its ideas or values. Matter is a collaboration between Artomatic and Royal Mail, and it targets consumers in the UK only. If US based companies and philanthropies adopt this method who knows what kind of interesting stuff we may get in the mail, or how much junk we will be contributing to our landfills.