Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 

4 Direct Mail Truths HubSpot Got Wrong

HubSpot misses the mark when critiquing direct mail

October 23, 2013 By Bob Bly
18
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 

Editor's Note: This article was submitted in response to the blog post "6 Horrific Practices of Direct Mail (and What Great Email Marketers Do Instead)," which was originally posted on HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Blog and was included in the Around the Web section of Tuesday's Today @ Target Marketing.

I have long admired the people at HubSpot for their online marketing acumen. I routinely download and read their marketing e-books with pleasure.

But their recent analysis of direct mail—"6 Horrific Practices of Direct Mail"—displays a stunning ignorance of what works and what doesn't work in direct mail.

To begin with, they go down the slippery slope of criticizing marketing without knowing what the results of those marketing campaigns are.

Whenever you do that, you operate largely out of ignorance. If I am tempted to say a direct mail package is bad, I will not do so unless the marketer confirms that it bombed.

Now let's look at some specifics. You can click on the link above to see images of the mailers under discussion.

1. In their horrific practice No. 1, HubSpot shows a direct mail envelope inviting the recipient to open a new credit card.

The teaser, which HubSpot author Jay Acunzo says "blatantly violates my trust," reads: "Time-sensitive account information."

Unlike Acunzo, I know this ploy works, because I have used variations of it in many direct mail packages throughout the years: adding a sense of urgency increases response.

Since the offer is to open a credit card account, and the special savings inside are good for a limited time only, the teaser is not only effective—it's also accurate and honest. Nothing about that violates my trust.

2. HubSpot's second "horrific mistake" is the use of a plain envelope. In direct mail lingo, these are called "blind" envelopes—and they have a long history of performing incredibly well in the mail, a fact that Acunzo seems blissfully unaware of.

3. Skipping ahead to horrific mistake No. 4, Acunzo criticizes the mailer for promoting the firm's money-back guarantee. In this he is wrong: money-back guarantees are standard in subscription marketing offers. To not have one is folly.

 

Companies Mentioned:

18

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON DIRECT MAIL, PRINT AND POSTAL >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more! Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant

One of the only books for fundraisers on monthly giving! Tips on how to make monthly giving work alongside other fundraising effortsHow to acquire monthly donors through different channels such as email, social media, direct mail, television and radioAnd much, much more!...

ORDER NOW

Anyone who has  read any of Panas’ other books 
knows his  style – a breezy and irresistible mix of storytelling, 
exhortation,  and inspiration.            
 Habits follows  the same engaging mold, offering a panoply of habits
 any board would  be wise to cultivate. Some are specific, with 
measurable  outcomes. Others are more intangible, with Panas seeking to 
impart  an attitude of success.
            Here’s just a sampling:You don’t allow a mission deficit.You never lose sight that your organization is in the business of changing lives or saving lives.You’re willing to leave the comfort zone.You understand that not all gifts are worth accepting. Fundraising Habits of Supremely Successful Boards

Anyone who has read any of Panas’ other books knows his style – a breezy and irresistible mix of storytelling, exhortation, and inspiration. Habits follows the same engaging mold, offering a panoply of habits any board would be wise to cultivate. Some are specific, with measurable outcomes. Others are...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Richard Potter - Posted on October 23, 2013
I totally agree with you, Bob. I read the original posting and was dismayed at the total lack of hands-on knowledge of what works in direct mail. My mantra has always been “Empirical evidence beats opinion every time.” Thanks for taking the time to take the poster (or is it “poseur”?) to task — I considered it but figured it would take more time than I was prepared to spend. And having one more ignorant mailer to compete with (if they ever mail), the better It makes my task that much easier. ;-)
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Richard Potter - Posted on October 23, 2013
I totally agree with you, Bob. I read the original posting and was dismayed at the total lack of hands-on knowledge of what works in direct mail. My mantra has always been “Empirical evidence beats opinion every time.” Thanks for taking the time to take the poster (or is it “poseur”?) to task — I considered it but figured it would take more time than I was prepared to spend. And having one more ignorant mailer to compete with (if they ever mail), the better It makes my task that much easier. ;-)