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Editor's Picks: 2012's Top Direct Marketing Tips for Each 'Target Marketing' Editor

December 1, 2012 By Target Marketing editorial Staff

As we put together our "35 Top Tips of 2012," it became obvious early on that not all of our favorite tips were going to make it into the magazine. Here is each editor's favorite 2012 tip that didn't make the final cut, along with why those tips made an impression on them.

Heather Fletcher, Senior Editor
Don't ask for metrics that are not actionable.
Phil Mui, Google Analytics (now at Acxiom)
"Analytics," May

From what I've seen of Phil Mui, he'd come in last in the Passive-Aggressive Olympic Games. I partly base this impression on the "Don't ask for metrics that are not actionable" answer he shot back to an audience member who'd asked for some squishy metric to be included in the Google Analytics Social Reports he was announcing on Mar. 20, 2012 at SES New York.

Searching through my notes, I now see the audience member asked if the tool could include impressions. Mui, then group product manager at Google Analytics, provided that "Don't ask for metrics that are not actionable" answer, then asked her a question that I can only paraphrase now: Do you care about the metric if it doesn't drive sales?

Mui—now chief product and engineering officer and executive vice president at Little Rock, Ark.-based data solutions firm Acxiom—got to the heart of what marketers are asking about social media. But, like all good direct marketing, his advice can be integrated across all channels.

Melissa Ward, Managing Editor
Never print dark copy on a dark background (e.g., red on dark blue). Always make a black-and-white photocopy of a catalog page, ad or direct mail element. If the type does not pop out, send the design back for surgery.
Denny Hatch, direct marketing consultant and author
"Breaking Every Rule in the Book!" Oct. 16

I work on Denny's weekly Business Common Sense e-newsletter columns, as well as his monthly Famous Last Words magazine columns, so suffice to say, after nearly five years I've received quite the copywriting and design education. While some direct marketing design tips clash with my own personal aesthetic, I can at least appreciate that good design is calculated; it's drafted to make a sale, not just look pretty.

Denny's tip to not print dark copy on a dark background might seem obvious, but take a look around at advertisements—especially those in women's fashion magazines—and see that many miss the mark on this. How am I supposed to place an order for a snazzy new winter coat when I can barely read the information about it in the catalog?

 

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